NBA Rumors: 2 Teams Have Pelicans Big Man In Their Sights

Big men continue to be in high demand as we approach the trade deadline, even those who've played very little this season. According to a report from Mundo Deportivo, the 2022 MVP of EuroBasket Willy Hernangomez has some trade interest from the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. 

But the New Orleans Pelicans, who have given the 6'11" big man scant playing time this season, aren't too interested in letting him go.

"Every time I give him minutes, he takes advantage of them. He is doing everything we ask of him and I can speak on behalf of the entire coaching staff when I say that we love having him here," Pelicans coach Willie Green told the Spanish-language publication

Both the Heat and Celtics are in the market for a backup big. In Miami, Dewayne Dedmon has fallen out of favor, while in Boston, they're looking to provide a little relief for 36-year-old Al Horford, and to keep oft-injured Robert Williams III fresh and healthy.

Hernangomez is in his 3rd season with the Pels, and has seen his minutes dip to their lowest point since his 2nd year in the NBA, five years ago. He's averaging just 12.4 minutes per game, and 7.1 points. 

As Nacho Garcia writes in Mundo Deportivo, he came back to the US after the summer with the EuroBasket gold medal around his neck and his name engraved on the tournament MVP trophy, expecting to see his playing time go up. But that has not been the case. 

His New Orleans teammates love having him around also. "He's a great guy, one of the best. Always smiling, transmitting energy to us, he's a great person. He never changes, that's what makes him a great teammate," fellow big man Trey Murphy III said.

Photo: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports