12th place in West
At this point, even the Pelicans probably have to concede they're unlikely to jump the five teams they trail in the standings and make up a five-game gap on the Utah Jazz for the eighth seed. So New Orleans could look to move 2016 free agents like Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon in pursuit of long-term solutions.
Potential trade targets
If properly motivated, Morris's ability to stretch the floor would work well next to Anthony Davis when the Pelicans shift Davis to center, and his team-friendly contract won't cut into New Orleans' 2016 cap space much.
Aiming low, but the Pelicans could use an athletic wing defender who shoots the 3 well enough to not completely crater their half-court offense (where incumbents Dante Cunningham and Alonzo Gee fall short). Holiday -- whose brother Jrue already plays in New Orleans -- is one example, but a variety of buy-low candidates would do.
Most trade value
1. Anthony Davis
Despite a downturn this season, Davis still has as much trade value as anyone in the league. He's not yet 23, has MVP upside and just signed a five-year extension that won't kick in until 2016-17.
2. Tyreke Evans
Six-plus years into his career, it's still unclear whether Evans is best used as a point guard or off the ball, but he's under contract through next season at a reasonable salary of just over $10 million.
3. Jrue Holiday
Recurrent stress injuries to his right tibia have limited Holiday's availability, and any interested team would want more information than New Orleans got from the Philadelphia 76ers when they dealt Holiday for two lottery picks. ( According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Sixers were fined $3 million by the NBA last June for failure to disclose the potential injury concern.)
4. Ryan Anderson
Anderson's value is limited because he might be a rental in the final season of his contract, but plenty of teams could use his floor-stretching ability for a possible playoff run.
5. Eric Gordon
Making $15.5 million in the final season of his contract, Gordon is overpaid but not so dramatically as to be untradeable. His outside shooting could help a contender if New Orleans decides to move on.
Most valuable draft pick
In case the Pelicans can't make it back to the postseason, their first-round pick -- the first they've kept since drafting Davis and Austin Rivers in 2012 -- would have great value.
Toughest contract to trade
Barely six months removed from re-signing, Asik has had a tough time staying on the court this season because of his inability to defend on the perimeter or catch and finish inside. Worse yet, he's due an average of $10.6 million over the next three seasons, with $3 million more guaranteed in 2019-20 according to BasketballInsiders.com.
Player most likely to be traded
Anderson has been a good partner for Davis in the frontcourt, but he's due for a big payday this summer and will probably have more value to a team that would start him at power forward. A strong offer would be tough for New Orleans to turn down.