Western conference side could abandon its bold new plan before the season’s end.
The New Orleans Pelicans’ deep but chemistry-lacking backcourt may not exist in its current form much longer.
Sources say NBA executives believe the Pelicans would be open to trading Tyreke Evans or Eric Gordon with the building blocks of Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis being the foundation for the future.
New Orleans acquired Evans this summer with a sign-and-trade that locked the versatile perimeter player in for four years and $44 million.
This season, Evans is averaging 12.6 points, 4.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game but is shooting 41 percent overall. While he joined the Pelicans open to coming off the bench and thus fitting in with a backcourt of Gordon and Holiday, it hasn’t played out well.
Thanks to a recent eight game losing streak, New Orleans had sunk to 15-24, the third-worst record in the Western Conference. The Pelicans have been without Holiday, who is out with a stress fracture in his leg, for the last five games.
Gordon, who is averaging 16.3 points and 3.2 assists while shooting 44 percent this season, is another story. His name popped up repeatedly in trade rumors last year after the Pelicans matched a contract offer worth $58 million over four years that was signed by the restricted free agent.
Gordon signed that offer with the Phoenix Suns, then asked New Orleans not to match before they did anyway.
Coach Monty Williams has not gotten consistent production from many of his backcourt players, but if the Pelicans front office can find a taker for either Evans or Gordon, it might be addition by subtraction.
Guard Brian Roberts has filled in at point guard, plus the team also has a value scorer in Anthony Morrow and young Austin Rivers to eat up the minutes vacated by either or both of Evans and Gordon.
If the Pelicans can open up cap space, acquire draft picks, find a player who fits better, or any combination of those things by trading the pricy guards, expect them to consider it.