Before the Utah Jazz proceeded to ship away both Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley to the Los Angeles Lakers to complete their trade deadline’s multi-team swap with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the New Orleans Pelicans had nearly snatched the two prior to the said transaction.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe revealed to his Lowe Post podcast that the Pelicans came up “close-ish” in acquiring the duo, as draft picks and the 23-24 salary of Mike Conley Jr. served as hindrances to getting the deal done.
“The Pelicans were close to getting Beasley and Vanderbilt from Utah at the trade deadline, or close-ish,” Lowe revealed to ESPN colleague Kevin Pelton (h/t Hoops Rumors’ Luke Adams). “They had a pretty good offer on the table. It was a draft equity-based offer with a pick that maybe was not as good as the Lakers pick that they ended up trading, but pretty close, I think, from what I’ve heard.
“But one of the issues was – maybe the picks weren’t exactly equivalent – but then another issue was (Mike) Conley and the Jazz’s determination to get off of Conley (who is owed at least $14MM in 2023/24), and could the Pelicans figure that out somehow? And it became a little complicated.”
The Jazz eventually nailed a deal that sent both Beasley and Vanderbilt to L.A., who also received D’Angelo Russell from Minnesota. Utah, for its part, gained the Lakers’ top-four protected first-round pick in 2027 and several assets like Russell Westbrook who eventually agreed to a buyout.
By having the Lakers’ 2027 pick, it allowed Utah to have more benefits in the long run as they continue to build their future and desired foundation.