The Missing Piece: Offseason Plans A-E for the New Orleans Pelicans

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Published: May 18, 2013
Missing Piece Four

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.

Depth Chart:

CP3/Rivers/Roberts

EG/Stephenson

Clark/Muhammad/Miller

Ryno/Smith

AD/Withey

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.

Depth Chart

Bledsoe(or Jennings)/ Roberts

Gordon/Rivers

Budinger/Aminu/Miller

AD/Ryno

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.

Depth Chart

Vasquez/Rivers/Roberts

Gordon/Oladipo

Webster/Brewer/Miller

AD/Ryno

Lopez/Smith

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.

Depth Chart

Vasquez/Rivers/Roberts

Gordon/Gerald Henderson

Chase Budinger/Devin Ebanks/Miller

AD/Ryno/Bennett

Lopez/Brandan Wright/Smith

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.

Depth Chart

Vasquez/Rivers/Roberts

Gordon/Oladipo/Mason

Dorrell Wright/Aminu/Miller

AD/Ryno

Lopez/Smith/Amundson

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

Jennings/Rivers/Roberts

G. Henderson/Oladipo

Deng/Aminu/Miller

AD/Ryno

Lopez/Smith

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

Bledsoe/Rivers/Roberts

K. Martin/Oladipo

Brewer/Aminu/Miller

AD/Ryno

Jordan/Smith

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. 

122 comments
Dillion77
Dillion77

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 

Chamilltheking
Chamilltheking

"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!"

StephenHuynh
StephenHuynh

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. 

kaclemen
kaclemen

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. 

fearthepelicans
fearthepelicans

Any chance the team could have C.J. McCollum on their radar?

Chad S from BR
Chad S from BR

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.

Depth Chart

Bledsoe/Roberts

Mathews/Olidipo/Rivers

Batum/Miller

AD/Rhyno

Pekovic/Lopez/Smith

Caffeinedisaster
Caffeinedisaster

Here goes....

Sign Iggy, Draft Oladipo, Trade Gordon/Lopez for Bledsoe/Jordan, Sign/Trade Jordan for Pekovic, Sign Brewer, Resign Aminu for CHEAP.

Depth Chart

Bledsoe/Vasquez/Roberts

Iggy/Oladipo/Rivers

Brewer/Aminu/Miller (or let Miller develop in D-league)

The Brow/Rhyno

Pekovic/Smith

Iggy/Oladipo/Rivers/Brewer can play multiple positions so there are many possible lineup configurations.

fran186
fran186

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.

qayboi
qayboi

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.

jayingram5
jayingram5

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.

jsl05
jsl05

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.

DRobin79
DRobin79

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

Chamilltheking
Chamilltheking

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.

TristanBisnezzWilliams
TristanBisnezzWilliams

MY OFFSEASON MOVES:

PG: VAZQUEZ/RIVERS/ROBERTS

SG: BREWER/OLADIPO OR McELMORE

SF: GRANGER/MILLER

PF:AD/RYNO

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.

jsl05
jsl05

Looking at Chad Ford's big board, there are a lot of guys from 12-26 that I like. 

TristanBisnezzWilliams
TristanBisnezzWilliams

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.

jsl05
jsl05

There are 3 options this offseason.

1. Go for CP3 and build around him.  When his contract expires, let AD take over.

2. Build around current team: AD, EJ, Rivers, Ryno, draft pick, and FA

3. Trade Gordon and build around Davis

ericsnow
ericsnow

Jennings didn't play the best this season but neither did lopez prior to the trade monty is a good coach and despite the record we finished all of the games close minus ever okc game we played smh

DRobin79
DRobin79

Plain and simple you have two options. Some of these ideas are just awful Brandon Jennings will never be a winner in this league and Bledsoe has a very limited offensive game and we need guys who can create their own shots. You either be patient and draft Burke who will be a fine player despite the negatives you search for while adding subtle pieces in free agency. Option 2 get CP3 and Dwight here by any means because neither is a lock to return to LA for obvious reasons and you become an instant contender. How I am not quite sure but damn o would try.

ericsnow
ericsnow

It has a lot of quality bigs coming mid to late 1st round if we could package a deal for lopez n a sign n trade for aminu for a late 1st rounder n pick up a steve Adams or a deing n have jj hickson to play mostly the 5 trade Vasquez n lance Thomas to bucks for Jennings I believe that Dell know how to deal look at who we traded for for ryno our 2nd leading scorer bucks have to deal Jennings this off season or lose him for nothing also he would come way cheaper than Bledsoe who the clippers might be looking for a kitchen sink in return especially if the vp3 rumors are true....

line up

1 Bledsoe(Jennings)/ rivers nate Robertson

2 Gordon/ oladipo/ curry (un drafted or late 2nd who knows)

3 Brewer or budinger ebanks n miller

4 AD ryno

5 hickson adams smith

jsl05
jsl05

Big Board:

1. Victor Oladipo

2. Ben McLemore

3. Nerlens Noel

4. Otto Porter

5. Alex Len

6. C.J. McCollum

7. Trey Burke

8. Dario Saric

9. Anthony Bennett

10. Shabazz Muhammad

soulbreaker
soulbreaker

I love the plan D,looking for guys buried in bad teams and/or bench or with some kind of problem(O.J Mayo Darren Collison last year). BTW, Phoenix maybe still want Gordon, i don´t like Kendall but one of the lakers picks and/or their own pick i would take it. Others options for cheap players are Varejao, Oklahoma´s young players (Lamb Jones III), Jared dudley, Prigioni(i love him), even Derrick Williams (he´s very good in defense), i don´t know so many options.

LaNative
LaNative

I don't envy Dell or Monty.  This is a great time for the Pelicans organization but there are a lot of options.  I am wondering with Jared Jack becoming a free agent, can Golden State hang onto him?  His stock definitely rose with his play this past season and post season.  Would that be something to consider as well.  

marios123
marios123

I think plan B is the kind of team that monty&dell will persue this summer because we all know that monty likes playing with an old school 5 in the lineup. Personally i like this idea as well as it will take pressure off AD and allow him to develop. 

As for guards/wings, they will look to place an elite defender next to gordon so it will be either oladipo or trade the pick + lopez for bleadsoe. With those moves I believe we are a playoff team next season and with another solid addition in the next offseason we will become contenders

daThRONe
daThRONe

If Demps and Williams want to win now we will mostly be a lotto teams for years to come. Rebuilding take time and careful planning. Rushed rebuilds lead to overpaid vet's. No veteran will come to a unproven small market team unless they are paid beyond market value. We've been down this road before with much more proven players.

CurtisKing
CurtisKing

why not this deal.....

if the hornets win the lottery or have a chance to draft noel...do it...davis wouldnt have to play center and they would be a dynamic bigmen in the league....wait another year to see if you could pair them with wiggins or jabri parker....greatness does not happen overnight another year wouldnt hurt for either of those guys

 if not 

 trade pick #5 for eric bledsoe straight up...he is better than any prospect in this draft with experience and only 23....

that leaves vasquez and eric gordon to be moved.....u trade gordon for demar derozan and bargani who they have been trying to move.... the raptors would have to say yes they would have lowry gordon and rudy gay....phenomenal trade for both sides....


you could keep vasquez or trade him while his stock is high....i say to the denver nuggets for wilson chandler and throw them robin lopez in the deal too

bledsoe    roberts   rivers

derozan  rivers   mason

chandler  aminu (or sign budinger)    miller

davis   anderson    smith

bargani  smith anderson

CurtisKing
CurtisKing

you need another plan those are all horrible in my opinion

usnfish
usnfish

I do wonder where the 2013 Draft Pick goes in "Plan D". Other questions...

"Plan C" - It appears this plan may have difficulties reaching the salary floor.

"Plan B" - Assuming Jennings and Jefferson, I believe the salary cap could come into play depending on which moves are done in what order.

I personally do not see much from All Jefferson to entice Monty and Dell. While he is extremely efficient on the left block his defense is atrocious. Jennings/Jefferson defending the PnR could be even worse than Vasquez/Lopez.

Do you believe Oladipo would be the Pelican selection if McLemore is available? I assume most of these plans operate with the Pelicans selecting fifth or sixth.

lsutigers33
lsutigers33

have to say I like the trade with EG and depth chart A. or Plan B

Much more athletic with Henderson and Oliadipo at SG and Jennings and Rivers at PG.  Deng and aminu is a nice balance.

creeddude96
creeddude96

Plan E would make me incredibly depressed

Chamilltheking
Chamilltheking

Again here is some missing pieces fa ya!!! Looking at the west conf. Next year looks like its safe to say that the lower seeds is up for grabs. Now do you really have to make a huge splash to get get to the higher seeds, reality is the pelicans won't be the good to get that high. Now look at this team as two more seasons to have a shot at being a REAL contender in the west. I believe with the addition of BURKE will bring a swag to this team that can get them to the post season with the players we have and maybe addition of some in free agency, but not DEEP into the playoffs!! But give are take a good free agency with addition of possible jj hickson, a Evan turner from like a e Gordon trade, or josh smith (long shot I kno) will set this team up for success come next draft!!!

Chamilltheking
Chamilltheking

You keep hearing bout CP3 coming back home, but why not target the best pg in the draft who is similar to cp3 style of play. With that said you save money to target big free agent or agents in fa to add to the team. Also if you find a trading partner for Gordon that also frees up cap and maybe get a pick for him to get back in the first round and take shabazz or Anotha player of need. With that you hot younger with Burke, Davis, shabazz or other, (jj hickson or josh smith in free agency) & rivers. You can deny the immediate impact!!!

jsl05
jsl05

Honestly, I don't want CP3 back especially after hearing that he probably has only 1-2 years left.  We need to trade Gordon and build this team around Davis so that it can be a force for many years to come.

jsl05
jsl05

I think we should just add a few veterans and have young guys backing them up.  I specifically like the Gordon for Deng trade and then having Aminu back up Deng for a year.

KingJewelz
KingJewelz

The beauty of the pelicans offseason is that they have sooo many different things they can explore to make this team better! We can all agree to that!! WE disagree with players to get BUT WE can all AGREE that their is NOTHING better that PELICANS Basketball!!

daThRONe
daThRONe

If you are saying they have no interest in Trey Burke whatsoever I have a hard time believing they would have interest in Jennings. Who may not be short but body mass is undersized and while he has some quickness it isn't displayed on defense. We have a lot of guys in this league that are laterally quick, but are poor defenders, likewise we have seen guys who are aren't really quick be great defensive players.

You compare Burke to Quinn but his combine numbers are slightly worse or better than Chris Paul. I know how it's unfair to compare guys to current great players. However the last player I've seen control a team like Paul is Burke. If Demps and Williams are willing to pass on a guy because he isn't the ideal player than they should be fired. You have to adjust on the fly to the talent you have access to.

Jared Ennis
Jared Ennis

I wouldn't be surprised if Monty and Dell bring in an unknown guy and he has a sizable impact similar to Vasquez and Lopez. Hoping for Oladipo!

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

Man, I hope the Pelicans take Burke, because it looks like our fan base will go insane if we don't get him, but honestly I think Kobe has as much of a chance of being a Pelican next year as Trey Burke. Unless Monty and Dell have been lying to us for nearly a year now about what they want to add to this team in order to set up the biggest smokescreen in the world, I just can't see it. 

Remember - this article is titled New Orleans Pelicans plans, not Michael McNamara's plans. I take the info I gather and put it back out. Personally, I wouldn't mind Burke at all. Not my favorite, but I got him at 5 or 6 on my big board, so I wouldn't be disappointed either. But it's not going to happen, I am sorry to crush the dream. Actually, just keep the dream for another six weeks if you want, what's the harm? It doesn't bother me either way, but I feel my job is to get the facts back to you and sometimes speculate about the future based on those facts and some whispers. 

I just hope you guys let Burke go after the draft and give all the love to Oladipo or whomever the pick is and move forward. Until then, keep hope alive!


Edbballin504
Edbballin504

I am a long time dedicated STH for the Pelicans and I attended 2 Chalk Talks this past season, and try to listen to most of Dell and Monty's interviews. Based on the information I have heard, Dell is going all in this summer. He's not interested in saving cap space, or waiting on another draft in 2014 before trying to win. They like the young core they have in place now and they are ready to take the next step forward with quality vets who can be had on long term deals. As far as Monty, its clear that he wants a 5 who can post and is big. He doesn't mind playing AD at center, but not primarily. Also, the success of MEM right now will be even more of a validation that 2 bigs can still win big in this league.


With that said, I think Plan B is the goal this summer. I think its a 90% chance we go hard after Pek or Jefferson with contracts of no less than $10m/year. Jefferson sounds like the more sure guy considering he's an UFA and we can pay what anyone else can, but we offer a chance for him to get the touches he likes in the post in this system, plus giving him the shot at being close to home to end his career (he's from Mississippi). I could also see the trade of Lopez for Pek making sense as well though. AD and Anderson are not going anywhere for the long haul so the PF spot is locked up. The other 3 positions are question marks if you ask me. As far as draft, I think Olapido is the guy Dell wants most no matter what our roster looks like. Also, dont be shocked if Rivers and Roberts are here behind another PG not being mentioned, thats Mr. Jack. He and Monty have a very close relationship and Jack brings the leadership qualities this team lacks, not to mention he has been amazing this post season. The above moves leave 1 position left, and thats SF. Thats where a trade of Gordon and GV/Lopez comes into play, to get us a quasi all star SF. The obvious options are Deng and Granger. I think Deng is a better fit but Dell wont pull that trigger on a 1 year guy who will most likely bail after that season. Granger, 2014 1st or Stepehenson makes more sense for Gordon + GV. Granger too is on the final year of his deal but he'll be back home so the odds of keeping him longer is high. Another sleeper SF option to watch for is w BOS for Jeff Green + Courtney Lee. 

My most likely team for 2013-2014: Jack/Rivers/Roberts.....Oladipo/Stephenson......Granger/Aminu/Miller.......AD/Anderson.......Jefferson/Smith. (Plus move Lopez for a mid-late 1st round pick this season to add another young guy Dell likes, i.e. Dario Saric)

eMariii123
eMariii123

IF we secure a top-3 pick in the lottery, how about trading Vasquez + Lopez + 2014 1st Rd pick for Bledsoe + Clippers' 2014 1st (the pick isn't necessary) AND trade Gordon for Deng straight up? Then draft Oladipo with our pick and sign free agents like Corey Brewer and Samuel Dalembert. 

A starting lineup of Bledsoe/Oladipo/Deng/Davis/Dalembert would be top-3 in the league defensively, and with Bledsoe,Oladipo, and Davis all under 23yrs old, they still have so much room to grow. 

Bench would look like Anderson/Smith/Brewer/Rivers/Roberts

A lot of IFs in this scenario, but it's definitely possible! 

daThRONe
daThRONe

I really don't understand how you don't have Trey Burke as an potential options but you continue to make Brandon Jennings as one. I much rather have Trey in every area over Jennings. Better leader, ball handler, distributor, better shooter, and his contract would be insanely better. Not to mention I strongly believe Burke will be a better defender than Jennings(which isn't really that hard).

504ever
504ever

Michael,

I think the Pelican's biggest need is a young PG and, since there are a number of very good options in this draft, it's a match made in heaven.  (We've got three different flavors to choose from: Burke, McCollum, and Carter-Williams.)  For me, the only other option is the Bledsoe/Jordan for Gordon/Lopez, which the Pelicans definitely want to do if they think they can draft McLemore or Oladipo.  I'd never acquire CP3 or Jennings.

Young PG now also fits because the Pelican's have plenty of (younger especially) FA and RFA options at the other positions of need, SF and C, if they like the value and can sign them.  None of the draft options at C and SF are starter ready to me.  (In addition, Noel is a thinner, injured, Davis-like PF, and we are loaded at PF.)

So I'll take, in order, your B (without Jennings), our Curveball B (probably without Kevin Martin), your C (with a drafted PG over Oladipo), your D (with a drafted PG. I don't see who you drafted there.), and your E (with a drafted PG over Oladipo).  


P.S. To All: Remember, we don't have to spend all of our cap money this off season.  As Michael points out, the Cleveland model (keep cap space to trade for great picks and short contract overpaid vets) has worked out great for them.

KingJewelz
KingJewelz

Some of these "plans" was cool but I didn't see a "plan" where we draft Burke and lets say trade way a pick and player to get back in the draft for player "shabazz" now I know that would be a LONGSHOT and CAN'T happen but that would be sweet

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