Should the Pelicans look into trading for Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic?
Should New Orleans Pelicans’ General Manager Dell Demps dip back into the Orlando Magic’s well of talent for a Center?
The New Orleans Pelicans desperately need a center that fits next to Anthony Davis. The Orlando Magic’s Nikola Vucevic could be that answer.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN on a recording of The Lowe Post, recent reports have indicated that the Orlando Magic are interested in trading away center Nikola Vucevic and point guard Elfrid Payton. These rumors have officially appeared in newsfeeds within the past 24-48 hours. However, indications of this move by the Magic has been mentioned since this past offseason.
During the 2016 Free Agency period, Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan acquired power forward Serge Ibaka, small forward Jeff Green and center Bismack Biyombo. That led to an overcrowded frontcourt in Orlando. The Magic already have a blooming star in combo forward Aaron Gordon waiting in the wings as well.
Minutes and rotations has been an issue for the Magic, which has led to an otherwise undesirable move for Vucevic. At the beginning of December, Frank Vogel decided that Nikola is best suited coming off the bench. Although rumor has it that Nikola does not like the switch, it has helped the team by having a scoring post threat in their second unit.
Now, where do the Pelicans play into this? The team’s obvious needs are a scoring small forward and post-presence at the center position. While many argue that their biggest need is on the wing for obvious reasons, a point can be made for a center first.
Pairing Anthony Davis with a low-post threat, that has an array of offensive moves and can shoot outside provides the team with a much needed offensive punch. Alexis Ajinca is serviceable, but not who you want going against the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol and others.
Omer Asik is best as a backup big, that gives 10-15 minutes of being a defensive paint presence.
Nikola Vucevic gives the New Orleans Pelicans the best option of possibly having four big men, who can play the power forward and center positions interchangeably.
Check out Vucevic’s recent highlights against the Miami Heat below:
What the Magic would probably want for him in any package than besides a scorer would be a team’s 1st round pick. While the price may be steep, it may likely be worth the New Orleans Pelicans to look into, for their long term future.
More from Pelican Debrief