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New Orleans Pelicans are actively exploring trade options involving their veteran center, Jonas Valanciunas, ahead of this year’s trade deadline.

ESPN’s NBA insider Brian Windhorst reported that the Pelicans have been engaged in discussions, contemplating significant deals utilizing Valanciunas’ expiring $15 million contract and leveraging their seven tradable first-round picks.

However, the Pelicans are clear in their stance—they seek a starting-quality center in return, alongside any other potential upgrades in the trade.

Valanciunas, a key figure in the Pelicans’ frontcourt, is in his third year with the team and is currently operating on an expiring two-year, $30 million contract.

The 31-year-old Lithuanian center has been a consistent contributor, averaging 13.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 26.1 minutes per game this season.

As the trade deadline approaches, the Pelicans are strategically exploring options to enhance their roster. Valanciunas, known for his rebounding prowess and scoring ability in the paint, holds significant trade value that could potentially bring in a starting-quality center to bolster the team’s lineup.