Joe Ingles and the New Orleans Pelicans a Perfect Fit

Published: June 1, 2013

Flash-back to the 2012 London Olympics and the basketball world was transfixed on how Team-USA would win their next gold-medal. Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony led the way as they walked easily towards their goal of being the best basketball nation in the world.

One of the sub-plots to transpire was the emergence of Australian small-forward Joe Ingles. The Boomers were down Andrew Bogut and had to rely on several young players to carry the team. Many predicted that Patrick Mills would be the player to do this. However, it was Joe Ingles who emerged as the best player on the team.

The 2009 NBA draft saw Ingles go undrafted. Many NBA teams loved his potential, but an untested swing-man who didn’t have a terrific jump-shot scared many teams. They wanted to see more.

Ingles tested himself in training camps that year and eventually decided to head to Europe. There he eventually transferred to one of the best teams, FC Barcelona and eventually worked his way towards more playing time. He developed his jump-shot, worked on his ball-handling skills and improved defensively.

Joe is a very athletic player and his time and Europe helped him tremendously. This leads us back to London where he shined. There he averaged 15 points per-game, 4.2 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Against the USA he was tremendous. He scored 19 points, had 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 made three-pointers.

NBA Scouts perked their ears up and have taken notice.

His versatility and improved shooting to go along with his excellent ability to pass the ball and defend makes him an attractive prospect.

This leads us to the New Orleans Pelicans who have an issue at the small-forward position. Al-Farouq Aminu never really moulded into the player that the organisation had hoped for. His inconsistency and inability to stretch the floor or handle the ball made him somewhat of a liability. Now New Orleans is on the look-out for that versatile wing-defender to pair with Anthony Davis.

Joe Ingles makes perfect sense for the Pelicans because he brings exactly what they need. He doesn’t have to be the primary ball-handler, but isn’t a liability to shoot the ball. Defensively he can guard opposing wings (Joe posted the 7th fastest Agility at the 2009 NBA combine, as fast as Jrue Holiday and Darren Collison).

The Pelicans have plenty of cap-space this summer and can afford to take a risk on a European player. If Ingles doesn’t work out it’s not the end of the world, the 2014 Draft waits. Joe can come in and contribute and if that happens then Dell looks like a genius.

He’s been tested and is hungry to prove himself in the NBA. Scouts have overlooked him and he knows his window is closing, “I’m 25, turning 26, and the window is closing [on a chance to play in the NBA], not too fast but it is closing.”

Whether the Pelicans decide to head in this direction will ultimately be up to Dell. However the notion that New Orleans needs to solve all the problems through in the good ole USA is grossly off-point.

Ingles value is not far off a minimum at this point, but increased competition for his service may mean teams might have to pay a bit more than expected. Joe’s contract has just expired with FC Barcelona. A 2 year/$6 million deal with the second year a team-option would be somewhere in the ball-park for his value.

Regardless of what you think of Australians, Joe Ingles and the Pelicans are a perfect fit in New Orleans.

What do you think the Pelicans should do? Is Ingles a good fit? Let us know in the comment section below. You can reach James on Twitter here @jsgrayson.


  1. jsl05

    June 1, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I’d gladly bring him in. After watching a few highlight vids and interviews, I’d love to have him. He has ideal height at 6’8″ 209, too.

    • Arabi

      June 1, 2013 at 10:46 am

      jsl05 Wiki says 216. Either way he doesnt LOOK 45 lbs lighter than LBJ in that pic.

  2. BumblebeePelican

    June 1, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Sign him up

  3. Houpgarou

    June 1, 2013 at 9:39 am

    I’m on the bandwagon

  4. NemesisKING

    June 1, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Is this serious?

  5. 504ever

    June 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

    This is a great idea.  I was actually wondering if there was a Brian Roberts type guy out there.  Joe Ingels sounds even better, and we need to get assets without giving up assets.

  6. vasilisGR

    June 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I hope dell doesn’t sing him.
    I was watching Barcelona games all year long and I was wondering what the hell was he doing in that team. He was a back up but even when the starting sf  (Pit Michael) got injured for the season he couldn’t earn more playing time.
    He is a player that he cant create his own shot, he hasn’t got the shot to be a 3&d guy and even his defense is average at best.
    I understand that he can be a low cost at the minimum but I d rather give some playing time to D. Miller next year as a back up instead of experiment with that guy.
    Take a look at his stats if you want.

    • NOH Domination

      June 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      vasilisGR I don’t know him and I’m sure what you say is valid, but Brandon Jennings and Ricky Rubio are two players that have struggled overseas and seem to be doing fine here.

      • vasilisGR

        June 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

        NOH Domination vasilisGR 
        Good point, but with that in mind we can pick through hundreds of players who are struggling right now in Europe. The real question is what are you seeing in each one of them that can make you believe they are capable to play in the NBA. As much as I m thinking of it, he doesn’t put enough on the table.

    • marios123

      June 2, 2013 at 5:39 am

      vasilisGR  I also watched Eagles all season during the Euroleague and I totally agree with you. The guy is an average defender at best, can’t handle the rock very well and his athletisism is not good for the NBA level. It is true however that he can stretch the floor. If Dell wants to take a bet in europe at that position here are a couple of guys he can target

      • vasilisGR

        June 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm

        marios123 vasilisGR 
        Yes you are right.
        Papanikolaou  might be the best prospect at SF from Europe right now. I think he has a very good all around game. Considering his age (23), athletic ability, basketball IQ, work ethic, defensing ability, 3p shot, passion for the game, he is the man (please Dell sing him instead).
        He got the rising star award from euroleague this year which is something  similar to the rookie of the year.
        And he is still growing as a player. Be ware NBA fans you going to hear a lot from this guy in the near future.
        Printezis is an excellent offensive player with off the ball movement , very good moves near the basket and the quickest release I ve seen for a long time from a big guy.
        He has his issues when it comes to rebound and defense though.
        Most of all his a PF, he can t buy a minute as a SF especially on the defensive end.

      • 504ever

        June 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm

        Problem: the NBA rights to Papanikolaou are owned by the Blazers and the NBA rights to Printezis are owned by the Thunder.

      • vasilisGR

        June 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm

        marios123 vasilisGR 
        Are you from Greece by the way?

      • marios123

        June 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

        vasilisGR im from cyprus! Papanikolaou is a great prospect I totally agree and since the NBA has not taken notice of him yet I am sure Dell can aquire his rights for almost nothing ( maybe a future 2nd round pick?)

  7. KingJewelz

    June 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I would say that he is worth a least a try out but I do like d.miller

  8. Papa Pelican

    June 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Let go get him and bring Yahoo Serious along lol.

  9. DavidLBrown

    June 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Could the Pelicans sign him as I free agent or would they have to draft him? I did not see in the article where it was mentioned how they could acquire him.

    • Papa Pelican

      June 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      He’s an international free agent any team can sign him

    • jsgrayson

      June 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      DavidLBrown Entered the 2009 NBA Draft, went undrafted. Played in training-camps, headed to Europe. Anyone can sign him

  10. mateor

    June 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I am not sure if I have any thoughts about Australians one way or another…

  11. macs21

    June 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I remember watching him in the Olympics and thinking he was awesome. Largely coz I’m Australian.
    He was more or less unheralded as a member of the Boomers as well, at least compared to guys like Patty Mills and Dellavedova. And he put up some serious numbers against Team USA and generally looked awesome.
    Also, you guys ripping on his ball handling ability have to take into consideration that he wasn’t given a play making role at all playing for Barca. They were essentially asking him to be a spot up shooter which is not a strength of his. Consider the difference in olympic play where he averaged 15/5/4 but still shot >50% from the floor.
    Also, if you’re gonna say Olympic play is against weaker opposition he had his three best games against Spain, Russia and the US in which he averaged 17/6/5 with 2 steals and a block while shooting almost 65% from the field.
    He also only had one TO for the entire tournament. Not per game. Total. In 202 minutes.
    For Barca he averaged 20 minutes per game and only 3 shots so clearly he’s more of a role player. He wasn’t throwing the balla way either as he only averages 1 TO there.
    Anywho, from what I’ve seen (admittedly not much other than the olympics) I’d definitely throw up to 3 mila  year his way.

  12. TMBocage

    June 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    This move reminds me of the Belinelli deal. He can fill a spot but I question whether he can contribute next year with Darius Miller hopefully making strides at the 3. I just hope Dell and Monty can work with him to develop his game. Didn’t work out well with Marco, however.

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  15. Papa Pelican

    June 30, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Joe Ingles AKA Baby Dirk

  16. jaybeezy58

    July 1, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Joe Ingles had a terrible season in Europe. That’d be a major gamble

  17. Zed84

    July 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    This guy has done well in the Europe and Israeli leagues Dell has scouted this guy for quite sometime. Ingles is a Spurs model type of player and would be a good fit for sure.

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