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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Pelicans bench trade candidate Solomon Hill

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The New Orleans Pelicans are showing just how serious they are about a potential Anthony Davis trade.

New Orleans benched Solomon Hill for Monday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers, having Kenrich Williams start in his place. It wasn’t until the very end of the third quarter that he finally entered the game.

What makes this significant? Hill is one of the pieces involved in a potential trade of Davis.

In New Orleans’ trade discussions with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Pelicans are seeking salary cap relief in addition to young players and future draft picks. A report from the Los Angeles Times says the potential trade would be six Lakers players and two future first-round picks to the Pelicans for Hill and Davis.

Hill is making $12.7 million this season and $13.2 million next season, so unloading him would clear some salary cap space for New Orleans next season. It’s somewhat standard practice to hold out a player (or minimize playing time) who is involved in trade talks; teams want to ensure the players remain healthy because an injury could scuttle a potential deal.

Though the Lakers would plan to waive Hill via the stretch provision, they would be so short on players this season after making such a trade that they would probably need Hill.

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