with everything your'e saying what about an Eric Gordan for Gerald Henderson and Charlottes Lottery Pick for a trade with the Bobcats?? Your Comments and thoughts greatly appreciated! @Chamilltheking
« New Orleans Pelicans at the Draft Combine: Day Two
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The Missing Piece: Offseason Plans A-E for the New Orleans Pelicans
This series was started in large part because of Dell and Monty’s comments last October. They both stated that the plan was to add the final pieces to the puzzle in the 2013 offseason and then move forward with that team for the next few years. Flash forward seven months and we are almost there. In those seven months, Dell has confirmed that the plan was still on track and that the Pelicans had a plan A,B,C,D, and E for this offseason. With the combine having just completed and the draft lottery just three days away, I will try to piece together the clues Dell left behind in on-the-record conversations, Chalk Talks, as well as off-the-record comments we have gathered from other high-ups to decipher the Pelicans offseason plans.
Plan A – Going All-in on Chris Paul
The Strategy: Trade Robin Lopez to Jazz for the 21st pick, draft Jeff Withey. Draft Shabazz Muhammad with own pick. Trade Greivis Vasquez for Lance Stephenson and 2014 1st rounder. Sign Chris Paul to 4 year/79.6 million dollar deal. Sign Earl Clark with exemption.
In recent days I have become more skeptical of this scenario than I was when I wrote this article, mostly due to some information that is being passed around NBA circles. Long story short, multiple doctors have given a timetable of 1-2 years before Chris Paul’s knee is completely shot. Not only would this worry the Pelicans, but it probably worries Chris Paul’s agent, and all of a sudden that 5th year that only the Clippers can give him seems a lot more enticing. My theory has always been that since there is only a $6 million dollar difference in the first 4 years of the max contract the Clippers can give him (compared to the Pelicans), that money wouldn’t be an issue. But if the doctors are right, this might be CP3’s last major contract, and in that case he has to take the extra year.
But CP3, like most athletes, believes he is the exception rather than the rule, so it is possible that he believes he will be able to stay at an elite level regardless of wear and tear on his body. If that is the case, the Pelicans can lure him back to a city he loves to play for a coach he respects and a roster that can take the pressure off him so he doesn’t have to do everything. Muhammad is a perfect fit with CP3, as he does most of his scoring coming off of screens and pin downs. A guy like Earl Clark could be a D and Three wing who holds down the position until Muhammad is ready and Lance Stephenson gives the Pelicans some toughness off the bench that can spot start if/when Eric Gordon gets injured.
Plan B – Go Big and Don’t Go Home (Early in the Playoffs)
The Strategy: Use the majority of free agent monty on an upgrade at Center to put next to Anthony Davis. Then use other assets (GV, Lopez, pick, exemptions) to upgrade the wings and/or point guard position.
Bledsoe(or Jennings)/ Roberts
Pekovic (or Jefferson)/Smith
Monty has remained firm in his philosophy that Davis is best suited to play the power forward position at this stage of his career. While Robin Lopez outperformed his contract last year, he was horrible in pick and roll defense and his post offense is average at best. Putting a top-10 center like Pekovic or Jefferson next to Davis could take the defensive focus off of him and allow him to roam free. Lopez’s inability to rebound on the defensive end also put too much pressure on Davis the other end, and both Pekovic and Jefferson provide significant upgrades.
Jefferson is an unrestricted free agent and the Pelicans can sign him outright, though there should be several suitors for his services. Pekovic is a restricted free agent, but the Timberwolves might prefer Lopez at $5 million to Pekovic at $13 million seeing that they are paying Love and will have to pay Rubio big money soon. In either case, money and assets will still be available to upgrade at point guard and small forward.
Plan C – Wings, Wings, Wings
The Strategy: The Pelicans allow Lopez and Vasquez to hold down the point guard and center positions for one more year, with the idea that Rivers and Davis can take over those positions full-time in 2014. In the meantime, they load up on wings in the offseason and maintain flexibility and some cap space for next summer.
Perimeter play was a nightmare for New Orleans last season, and one way or another this has to be addressed this summer. The only elite wing player on the market in Andre Iguodala, but he will probably get a contract in the $14-$16 million range. Instead, the Pelicans address their perimeter needs by going after multiple players with unique skill sets that could make their offensive and defensive attacks versatile. Shooting is sorely needed, so Martell Webster, Kyle Korver, and Chase Budinger should all be targets this summer. Also, Monty and Dell will want a wing defender who can cover multiple positions, so Corey Brewer and Gerald Henderson will be intriguing in free agency and Victor Oladipo or Ben McLemore could be fits in the draft.
This plan allows the Pelicans to be competative now while simoultaneously assessing players like Vasquez, Gordon, Lopez, and Rivers to see if they are long term pieces to the puzzle.
Plan D – Ryno and Lopez Part II
The Strategy: Dell targets guys this summer who are undervalued around the league, adding assets to set up a future blockbuster trade for a star.
Chase Budinger/Devin Ebanks/Miller
Gerald Henderson is the player I would bet on becoming the biggest value of this free agent class if I had to pick just one guy. He has been stuck in Charlotte his whole career and has steadily improved every aspect of his game since coming into the league. Give the guy a steady foundation with one coach that he can learn from (as opposed to a revolving door) and he can take off. Dell can add Henderson, Chase Budinger, and PER All-Star Brandan Wright for the same price that it would cost to land one major fish. All three guys will be 25 years old next season and still have considerable room to grow. Throw in Devin Ebanks, a guy who has shown flashes in his brief NBA career, and Dell has quite a collection of assets.
Armed with a roster that goes 14 deep, Dell could be patient and wait for the right deal to present itself. The beauty of having a roster this deep and flexible is that Dell could make a 3 for 1 or even a 4 for 1 trade and still have enough bodies left standing to surround a star studded core.
Plan E – Waiting for 2014
The Strategy: If Dell misses out on all his main targets, he would be foolish to pull a Joe Dumars. Instead, he could just fill the roster with some quality vets who can help the locker room and allow Monty to give major minutes to young guys for one more year.
Most Pelicans fans would be hugely disappointed if the roster looked like this on opening day, but it beats throwing huge deals at average players. While this team won’t compete for playoff spots, it has a couple of built in advantages. For starters, it would be nearly $10 million dollars below the salary cap, which would put the Pelicans in prime position to take on a contract that another team wants to shed and be compensated with draft picks for their troubles. This is what the Cleveland Cavaliers have been doing for two years now, and their war chest is completely stocked.
It also puts them in prime position to land a marquee free agent in 2014. If Anthony Davis goes out and has an All-NBA season, New Orleans could become a prime destination for NBA players. Patience isn’t sexy, but it beats desperation if all else fails. And worse case scenario, the Pelicans are bad for one more year and secure a top pick in the most loaded draft since 2003.
The Curveball – Eric Gordon Gets Traded
The Strategy: It would be a miracle to get a young player on a quality contract for Gordon, and that miracle will likely not be answered this offseason. If the Pelicans do get offers for Gordon, they will likely be deals that look like pennies on the dollar on the surface, but if Dell wants to rid himself of the headache, he just might take whatever he can get.
Depth Chart A
In this scenario, Eric Gordon goes to the Bulls straight up for Luol Deng. It’s big risk, big reward for the Bulls, as they pair Derrick Rose with his AAU teammate and friend Eric Gordon. Now they have two guards with injury issues, but if they can ever get them both healthy, they would have the best backcourt in the NBA by a mile and a team that could legitimately defeat the Heat. The Pelicans, meanwhile, shed Eric Gordon and give themselves a quasi All-Star who is great in the locker room. After the trade, they reinforce the perimeter by sending Vasquez to Milwaukee in a sign and trade for Jennings, drafting Oladipo and signing Gerald Henderson. And in the event they don’t see Deng as a long term piece, the Pelicans could re-sign Aminu, who could learn under Deng for a year before Deng hits the market and the Pelicans have another $15 million to spend on the FA class of 2014.
Depth Chart B
This scenario involves the Gordon and Lopez for Jordan and Bledsoe blockbuster that has been rumored to been discussed amongst Clippers FO personnel. After the trade, the Pelicans draft Oladipo to be the future at the two and/or the three and then sign Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer to help jump start the perimeter attack. This lineup has enough length and quickness to turn the Pelicans into an elite defensive team, and plenty of upside on the offensive end as well.
The Missing Piece is a weekly feature that can be found every Saturday only on BourbonStShots.com. Past issues in the series can be found by clicking here.
"Remember last time this year we was losing as hornets." "You remember that we pelicans now!" "Be happy with what you got." "You be happy." "Me I want what's coming to me!" "We'll whats coming to you?" "Trey Burke and all the WINNING!"
I think Eric Gordon should be traded for Danny Granger! Straight up trade. Will def help both team. Both players have injury issue. Both players will be happy.
Here are my thoughts:
Remain patient Crescent City. We have cornerstone player in Davis and have some solid pieces to build around. However, I feel like Benson buying this team, the rebrand, and the pressure to put fourth a playoff caliber team may overide any rebuilding project. While I hope this is not the case I can almost guarantee Benson's theory will be let's sell our soul to get into the playoffs. Who cares what seed, how deep we go, etc. Benson will want to make a splash. I dont think a team with Pekovic, Jennings, Henderson, Iggy, or any other available free agents will make us a title contender. I do believe we are a couple players from possible playoff contention, but let's be honest this team has a lot of growing up to do. I thnk the best thing we can do at this point is be patient.
I pose the question, would you rather:
Go out and spend in a below average free agency class + Draft at our position: Teeter on the cusp of playoff contention for the next 5 years - let's say making it 3 times and missing it twice. Landing high teen draft picks, and always getting bounced in the first round.
Stay patient and enter the Jabari Parker/Andrew Wiggins - Sure we suck yet again. But what a better opportunity to develop Davis by giving him max minutes? Getting Gordon healthy and stronger for another season. Developing Rivers more, and pairing our #1 draft pick with a future phenom. If those lotto balls clink the right way we are a perenial playoff team for the next 6-10 years and become very attractive for the mega 2014 draft class.
New practice facilities, rebrand, two studs on rookie contracts, cap space, and an easy selling point to attract -- Kyrie Irving, Eric Bledsoe, Ricky Rubio, Michael Kid Gilchrist, Luol Deng, Jimmy Butler, Harrison Barnes, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Khawi Leonard, Darrel Arthur, Kenneth Faried, Larry Sanders, Greg Monroe, Varejao, Cousions, etc.
How nasty would this look? Age at time of 2014 start of season
PG - Eric Bledose (24), Maybe go after John Wall, Avery Bradley, etc.
SG - Eric Gordon (25), Jimmy Butler - Wouldnt mind going after gordon heyward,
SF - Andrew Wiggins (19), Quincy Pondexter (turned into a very nice role player and shooter) - would love to see us toss money at Paul George,
PF - Anthony Davis (21), - Backups Darrell Aurthur, Larry Sanders,
C - Greg Monroe - NOLA native (24), Ryan Anderson (26) - Both Stretch 5's with great ability to pass and rebound.
I really love your blog and I enjoy your podcast I have been a fan of the site and True Hoop network for my insider news a very long time. In my honest opinion as a Pelicans fan, the number 1 move this summer is the need to move Eric Gordon.
I would Trade EG and the first rounder (2014 draft) next year to Portland for Wesley Mathews and Nick Batum. Now that I got my starting SF and some veterean leadership. I agree 100% with plan B on the center spot lets go after Al Jefferson or Pekovic. PG I would move Vasquez because he is not a starter but my free agent list is 1. E bledsoe 2 Darin Collison 3 Brandon Jennings. Draft wise this year I would pray for Olidipo or the kid from LeHigh.
Sign Iggy, Draft Oladipo, Trade Gordon/Lopez for Bledsoe/Jordan, Sign/Trade Jordan for Pekovic, Sign Brewer, Resign Aminu for CHEAP.
Brewer/Aminu/Miller (or let Miller develop in D-league)
Iggy/Oladipo/Rivers/Brewer can play multiple positions so there are many possible lineup configurations.
I really think Dell Demps will go all in right now, even though next year's draft class is enticing with Wiggins, Parker, Smart, etc....Right now, I see the Pelicans take either Trey Burke, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter, or Victor Oladipo. Bennett can fit the bill, but he is too much of a Larry Johnson type of guy the Pelicans do not need.
As for free agents, they need to bolster their bench (Carroll, Korver, Budinger, Henderson???), get a big name guy, and a quasi starter. Pekovic can be the guy manning the middle, but I see a sign and trade deal have to happen as the TimberWolves need a SG after the Brandon Roy debacle. Besides us, I do see a plethora of teams wanting his services (LAL, POR, HOU, ATL, SAS, DAL, etc). If that does not work, JJ Hickson or Big Al could be a good signing at the right price. CP3, in my opinion will be a reach, unless you have a great bench and coach (VDN is a horrible coach). I can't see CP3 go to Dallas or NYK, I think depth and health will be a key decision for CP3.
I would like to see Lebron James in a Pelicans Uniform! Lets make it happen Dell! Maybe bring in Paul Pierce and D Rose. Pelican Dream Team.
I would like to see the Pelicans draft Anthony Bennett and play him at SF. He's a guy who can post up and he has a mid-range game, not to mention he is a powerful dunker. This move would also allow them to play AD at center sometimes. You can then go out and get yourself a Dorrell Wright or a Gerald Henderson to play the wing. This gives you a lot of flexibility with the lineup. In today's NBA, u need to have guys who can both play and guard multiple positions.
I'm starting to jump on the Kentavious Caldwell-Pope train. D and 3 guy that is really athletic. I'm really starting to like trade-down if we can't get Dipo.
Good ideas except for cutting J Smitty his size toughness and shooting ability from mid range is valuable. The Iguodala move would be nice given hisddefense
PG - Trey Burke
SG - Eric Gordon
PF -Anthony Davis
SF - Andre Iguodala
C - Robin Lopez
Most ppl think that Eric Gordon will be dealt, but I don't see a team taking him. I think that the Pelicans can trade Vasquez for maybe a pick next year & cut Jason smith to relieve cap space and acquire iguodala to play the sf role for this coming year, he is capable of doing the role would tremendously ignite this team and find players in next years draft r agency to fill the permanent roles for sf and center. Austin Rivers to me will command the role of sg when Gordon is dealt.
MY OFFSEASON MOVES:
SG: BREWER/OLADIPO OR McELMORE
C:JEFFERSON OR PECKOVIC/ SMITH
NOTES:GRANGER WOULD BE ACQUIRED IN A DEAL FOR GRANGER. BOTH PLAYERS WOULD BE GOING BACK HOME IN THIS DEAL. WE ALL KNOW IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE GORDON IS DEALT. I FEEL THIS MAY BE THE BEST DEAL SINCE BOTH PLAYERS ARE BATTLING INJURY. YOU GO BIG IN FREE AGENCY WITH PECK OR BIG AL TO HELP OUT AD AND RYNO. YOU PICK UP BREWER TO ADD ANOTHER WING WHO CAN DEFEND AND HIT DA LONG BALL. IN THE DRAFT I WOULD REPLACE GORDON WITH THIS PICK DEPENDING ON WHERE IT LANDS. I WOULD PREFER OLADIPO BUT McELMORE WOULD FIT IN AS WELL.
QUESTION? WHY DOES THIS WRITER HAVE US MOVING VAZQUEZ WHEN HE CLEARLY WAS THE BEST THING GOING FOR US. HE SETS UP OUR OFFENSE, SCORES WHEN NEEDED, AND IS NOT AFRAID OF ANYONE OR MOMENT. THE ONLY REASON HE AVERAGES 3 TOs IS BECAUSE HE WAS FORCED TO SETUP EVERYTHING THE MAJORITY OF THE YEAR.
WITH THAT BEING SAID WE NEED EASY BUCKETS, SOMEONE THAT CAN BE GIVEN THE BALL ON DA BLOCK AND CAN GO TO WORK. BIG AL IS THAT GUY.
@Dillion77 @Chamilltheking There can be some weird scenarios but for some reason I have the Magic taking McLemore not Burke, Wiz getting Porter, BOBCATS taking Bennett (Possible Oladipo) they need big bodies but they also need perimeter shooting but if Magic take McLemore I see them going big, Suns would take Oladipo as a cheap investment than Gordon which they targeted before, which would leave the Pelicans with Burke my choice. They can end up with Oladipo if magic take Burke, or even Shabazz if bobcats don't take Bennett and take Mclemore since Magic took Burke and Suns take Oladipo. That's the ways I see it but my mind tells me Burke for some reason don't ask me why not because I want him either.
The most important thing with waiting is flexibility. In case something doesn't work. I love basketball and I love my team. If we have young talent can I'm fine with losing for a year or two.
Out of curiosity who would you have us drafting this year.
@qayboi hide your stash. lol
@jayingram5 The problem with this guy is that he's too much of a tweener and he takes a lot of plays off.
@Chamilltheking No way I'd go after Iguodala. He'd command way too much money. Why would we ever cut Jason Smith???
@TristanBisnezzWilliams Granger for Granger you say? This trade is problematic. On the one hand, they have the same agent so there's a conflict of interest. On the other hand, Granger is just as injury prone as Granger is, lol.
:) JK, I wouldn't want to trade Gordon for another "injury-waiting-to-happen" guy.
@TristanBisnezzWilliams I'd probably take that, but I'm not sure if I like so much change in so short a time.
@TristanBisnezzWilliams Vasquez can't play defense. Look at the small market teams that succeed like Memphis and Indiana. Their point guards are defense-oriented and can distribute the ball.
@MikeStanley1 @Chamilltheking First off I know this aint the NFL BRAH, and sec I said I didn't understand the cap. With that said if it came between Jason Smith or a better player I would go with the better play no matter how I get him that's me. Sometimes you give to get. Now for as Gordon and your so called NO SENSE, have you seen how hurt his has been throughout his career do you know someone that will sign him and HIS BIG CONTRACT. Ill answer that for you no one but US. I see him on this team next year so I don't see a trade for him so if it aint him and you HAVE to get better someone gotta GO!! Maybe even Lopez if you can get better at the position. Look at it like that.
Only reason I would cut him if they had to to free up space, and iguodala u NEED. Vet in the locker room that can help them get better. You have to make a big move to make some kind of splash. Ppl want Deng how much you think he cost about the same. I wanted mind Deng either but don't see bulls giving him up.
@jsl05 @TristanBisnezzWilliams YEA ITS ALOT BUT THE FRANCHISE NEEDS TO BE AGGRESSIVE IN ORDER TO CAPTIVATE THE FAN BASE. BOOGIE BENSON IS ABOUT WINNING AND MAKING MONEY BOTTOMLINE. PLUS I LIKE MONTY AND I KIND OF FEEL LIKE THIS YEAR IS DO OR DIE FOR HIM . MIGHT AS WELL GIVE HIM SOMETHING TO WORK WITH
@jsl05 @TristanBisnezzWilliams YOU'RE RIGHT, HE DOES STRUGGLE A BIT AGAINST THE QUICKER PGs BUT BASKETBALL IS PLAYED BOTH WAYS, HE MAY HAVE A DISADVANTAGE ON DEFENSE BUT ON OFFENSE, THOSE PGS FACE THE SAME DILEMMA GUARDING HIM. GRAVY IS A LEGIT 6'6'' 215 PG. WHO CAN SEE THE COURT JUST AS GOOD AS ANY GUARD IN TH LEAGUE, HE CAN POST SMALLER POINTS UP, AND BULLIES THEM WHEN GOING TO DA CUP.
@Chamilltheking the #4 pick in the Gordan trade
with a trade to Minnesota for Pekovic and Williams, with another trade of Gordon to Suns for Dragic and a pick, i like this roster and im not too harsh on if all else fails too draft Burke or Saric.
@Dillion77 I meant acquire Ellis cause he wont return and trade Vasquez to Bucks if they Lose Jennings.
@Dillion77 @Chamilltheking @Jason Calmes I like the Burke Pick if he falls to us because to me he is the Biggest Marketable player of the bunch that the team can pair with Davis for the pick n roll play that Burke thrives off. But again this is my opinion and would hope just to land any WORTHY player at that pick!!!
Ill be honest not good at the cap stuff just try to find ways to best build the team. Good looking out!!
@Chamilltheking U can't just cut Smith to free up cap room. U would have to use the amnesty clause in order to free up the cap space and he only makes $2.5 million so it wouldn't be worth it.
@Chamilltheking I'd say that the 28o-year-old Deng is proven.
I wouldn't mind Deng in place of iguodala!! But I was just chasin a PROVEN vet that can help the team and YUNG players to GROW!!
@Chamilltheking I think the Bulls would definitely do Gordon for Deng. They have Butler to replace Deng and two guards that can create their own shot (huge in the playoffs). That would allow Belinelli to come off the bench.