The New Orleans Pelicans are desperate to make the NBA playoffs this season, as the organization is aware that they need to show Anthony Davis that they are a competitive team. It has been heavily reported that Davis could request a trade in the summer, and if the 25-year-old becomes available, he will attract immense interest from teams such as the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.
Davis has been with the Pelicans since the team drafted him with the first pick of the 2012 NBA draft, and the center has since transformed into one of the most dominant forces in the NBA. The 5-time All-Star is averaging 28.5 points and 13.0 rebounds per game this season, although the Pelicans have once again struggled, making a 16-21 start to the season.
In the next few months, the Pelicans are sure to make a number of big moves in a bid to convince Anthony Davis that the team can compete in the next few years, and this will result in a number of high-profile players being traded away due to the Pelicans' current lack of cap-space. So here are three players that could exit the New Orleans team before the February trade deadline.
#3 Jahlil Okafor
Jahlil Okafor spent spells last season with the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, and for the 2017/18 season, Okafor averaged 6.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 12.6 minutes per game. The Pelicans were impressed by his numbers and this summer opted to sign him on a one-year, $1,567,007 contract, with a team option for the 2019/20 season.
The 23-year-old was expected to add depth to the team, although the presence of Anthony Davis has meant that Okafor has yet to make an impact. The center is currently averaging just 7.7 minutes per game and is recording near career-low figures in both rebounding and scoring. The Pelicans management clearly has no plans for Okafor, and the team should look to move him on this month.