Pelicans Beat: Looking at Tyreke, Iggy, Gordon, and Predicting How This Whole Thing Plays Out

Published: July 1, 2013

1. What are your thoughts on the Pelicans rumored pursuit of Tyreke Evans?

Michael McNamara: I think, more than anything, that Dell wants to build an uptempo team with multiple ball handlers that can attack the rim. This franchise has had a lack of guys who can create for themselves and others, and because of that the offense has suffered. If Dell can land Evans and plays him with Gordon and Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans will have three guys who can get out in transition and also make plays in the half court.

Mason Ginsberg: I still think that Evans can succeed in the right situation – he is clearly a talented player – but David Aldridge’s tweet that the Pelicans would have a “big offer sheet” in hand worries me. The Pelicans have to be wary of doing what they arguably did to acquire Holiday – paying for what they think he can become instead of what he is.

James Grayson: I really do like Evans the player. Remember this guy is a former rookie-of-the-year for a reason. He is a very good finisher around the basket and has that Jay Bilas 6’11” wingspan! As mentioned before the “big offer sheet” in hand concerns me. For $6-8 million a season I’d be OK, but heading into the $10 million range without moving Eric Gordon and I’m puzzled. Another issue: who’s the shooter other than Ryan Anderson? Too many ball-handlers, not enough shooters.

Michael Pellissier: As Mason and Grayson have said, the big offer sheet scares me. Evans is elite getting to the basket, and I like him if he’s in the right situation. I sincerely doubt Evans and Gordon would be a good pairing with our roster, because they would probably need a stretch 4, and if we play Anderson/Tyreke at 3 and 4, our defense would really suffer. If we can shed Gordon’s behemoth contract, I don’t mind overpaying for Tyreke by a couple million per year.

Jake Madison: Offensively he is incredibly talented, but I worry about his defense and the contract Dell would have to give him in order to bring him to New Orleans. The thought of the Kings taking the full time to match the offer terrifies me and it could cause the team to miss out on other SF options. Court spacing also worries me with a Holiday, Gordon, Evans lineup.

Jason Calmes: I’m fine with Tyrke at $5m – $7m, give or take, as his deal may need to exceed the MLE to shrink the market for him. He’s a tough dude and can get to the rim. With a skilled point guard, some of his minues are instantly hidden. He took some unnoticed steps forward this past season (Thanks, Maloofs!) by demonstrating he can hit the three at about an average rate, bringing his TS% to 0.558, which is quite nice. He’s bigger than Gordon, if slighter, but quite powerful nonetheless. He’d fit, and I the off-the-court swirl about him dwindles when he gets a fresh start, especially with a stable and structured franchise like the Pelicans.

Joe Gerrity: Eh. He’s shown little to no improvement offensively since his rookie season, and I just don’t think he’s a good fit with Jrue in the backcourt. Those two would need a sharpshooting wing to help space the floor or the offense would struggle to operate efficiently. He’s shown apathy on the other end way too often for my liking as well. If you’re walking back on D in your early 20’s, I tend to believe it’s a sign that you just don’t really care that much.

2. If acquiring Andre Iguodala meant shedding Robin Lopez and handing over a 4 year/50 million dollar contract, would you do it?

MM: In a heartbeat. Look, Lopez was a great stop gap last season, but Monty is going to pull the minutes restriction off of Anthony Davis this year, and there just won’t be as much opportunity for Lopez to play anyway. Guys like Robin Lopez can be replaced, while there are only a handful of Iguodala’s in the league. You don’t miss out on the chance to get one of those guys because Lopez is a slight improvement over a guy like Samuel Dalembert, who you can get later in free agency.

MG: Initially, I said “absolutely”, and while I still think that I’d so it, it’s not as much of a no-brainer for me anymore. After reading theories about how Jrue only really excelled offensively once Iguodala was traded, I’m hesitant to be all aboard the Iggy train. His contributions on the defensive side of the ball are undeniable, and he would be an immense help in that regard. The question is whether or not he’s worth handing a huge contract if there is a chance that he could actually prevent Jrue and others from reaching their full offensive potential.

JG: I really am torn by Andre Iguodala. His defensive capabilities are indisputable. My issue again is that he offers little in the way of offense. The numbers are all down: his rebounding, assist percentage, turnover percentage (is up) and win shares. Historically players on the wrong side of 30 don’t improve their offensive skill set outside their jump-shot, so if the Pelicans sign him they better hope he’s been practicing.

JM: Easily. Davis has shown that defensively he can play with anyone, and once he puts on some more muscle, Lopez isn’t as important a player for the Pelicans. Iguodala playing on the wing with Holiday and (potentially) Gordon would be an absolute monster defensively. Lopez can be a defensive liability at times–particularly defending the pick and roll–so moving him wouldn’t hurt the team as much since a solid defensive center can be found.

MP: Yes. I think this team needs a difference-making veteran, and Iggy would provide just that. Lopez is a fine role player, but I am a firm believer in doing what it takes to get difference-makers, even if you lose a good role player in the process. Iggy would provide the wing defender we so desperately need.

JC: I think so. If Iguodala is the guy, you pay what it takes and lose the lower tier guys necessary to get him. If the Nets have taught us anything, it’s that nickel is important and amassing large contracts isn’t always so bad. Iguodala just opted out of a deal that would have paid him over $16m this season, so it’s doubtful he’ll take too much less. He’s got value and he’ll hold it, so fine by me. Oh, he’ll play well, too.

Joe: Instantly. That contract is solid, I love Iggy’s game, and adding him to the roster would give the younger guys a veteran star to work and grow with.  I’m not sure this works as well if you have Tyreke on the roster instead of Gordon, but you cross that bridge when you come to it. As for Lopez, he’s just a decent option at center for a bad team. His inability to cover pick and rolls drastically reduces his long term value. He was a nice piece to have last year, but with Davis growing up and Anderson in need of at least 32 a game there’s just no reason to keep Lopez if it means not getting Iggy.

3. What does the rumored interest in Evans and Kevin Martin tell you about Dell’s plans for Eric Gordon?

MM: It tells me that Dell has a suitor lined up for Eric Gordon if he wants to pull the trigger. Martin and Gordon simply can’t play together, and even though I could see Tyreke playing small forward because of his incredible wingspan, I just don’t think Jrue, Gordon, and Evans offer the floor spacing this team needs. If either of those guys are signed, I think Gordon’s chances of being traded go up significantly.

MG: I’m with McNamara on this one; Dell must know that he can move Gordon easily if he decides that he needs to do so. Simply put, between the Pelicans trading for Holiday and the rumors of a big offer sheet on the table for Evans, you have to start to wonder where the cap space for both moves is coming from. There are other ways to do it (moving Greivis and Smith or Lopez), but by far the easiest way would be to unload Gordon’s contract.

JG: Tells you little. I mean, Gordon hasn’t done anything for this organisation and so I think Dell is playing it by ear. Like McNamara said (and what I’ve said many times before) is that the interest in shooting-guards must mean he has something planned. The question is when? As well how would the salaries work too? There’s no way a line-up of Holiday-Gordon-Evans works, especially with the need to space the court.

JM: There has to be some plan for them to move him. There isn’t enough cap space to make some of the moves Dell wants. But by unloading Gordon’s contract, it becomes a non issue. Kevin Martin is an attacking guard who can create his offense, his upside isn’t as high as Gordon’s, but his contract would be cheaper and he’d still fit in well.

MP: It tells me Gordon could be traded at the drop of a hat, unless I am way off-base in saying that Gordon and Evans don’t fit together. I have also heard that Evans doesn’t want to play anywhere if he’s made into a 3. Is that true? Maybe, maybe not, but I think Dell sees Evans as a different version of Gordon. It is clear that Dell wants shot-creators in a bad way, which isn’t surprising for anyone who watched our offense last year.

JC: It just says that Dell knows Gordon is a player, and asset, but not a franchise cornerstone (too soon?) that can’t be moved for the greater good. They used all of last season to get his value out of the depths of my laundry hamper, and they need both gauge his value and cash in if they get to or exceed the agreed upon strike price. It’s a pretty good strategy coming from the pretty good city that is New Orleans.

Joe: It simply shows that we need more Dealer Dell t-shirts. Gordon’s name wasn’t even mentioned in a recent PR piece by the team which promoted the draft. To think that Dell hasn’t had multiple conversation about trading Gordon is just foolish. That Dell is targeting guards should remove any and all doubt that our maxed out shooting guard is on the table. Whether or not it happens is another story.

4. Of the second tier small forward options available this summer, who is your favorite?

MM: I am a big fan of Earl Clark, but Martell Webster is at the top of the list for me. He is a solid defender, but his strength really lies in his perimeter offense. With the space that Davis running to the rim and Gordon and Holiday penetrating would give him, I could easily see him being one of the top three-point shooters in the league if we were to acquire him.

MG: As I said on Fourth Down on Four last night, Dorell Wright and Martell Webster are my two favorites thanks to their ability to knock down threes and their long wingspan on defense. Both are 27 and 26 years old respectively, so regression isn’t a significant concern. Webster would probably be the slightly better option, but I would rather have Dorell Wright at $3 million/year than Webster at $5 million/year, so it all depends on what each player commands in free agency.

JG: I really like Chase Budinger. You know what you’re getting and while many doubt he has room to grow, maybe that’s just what the Pelicans need? A player that can come in, hit his threes, defend and run the floor.

MP: Honestly, I would be happy with most of them. I think Andrei Kirilenko would give us a lot of versatility in our frontcourt and would fit well next to Anderson and Davis. Chase Budinger, Dorell Wright and Martell Webster would help us by stretching the floor and probably wouldn’t cost too much to do so.

JM: I like Webster and Wright. Their skill sets fit the need of the team on both sides of the ball. They are also cheaper options which allow the team to keep some of their cap flexibility in place. I love Budinger but I don’t see the Pelicans signing him.

JC: Give me Webster or Wright. They are of the right age and have the right skill sets. AK47 is too old and too costly. Copeland is too unproven, Budinger is just a smidge below then. I’ll take Webster at the higher price, but Wright for less and with @dwrightway1 as a twitter handle is also just fine.

Joe: Dorrell Wright is probably the best choice of the second tier, but only if he agrees to pay a fine every time he chooses to take a shot that isn’t either in the paint or from beyond the three point line. I’m sick of watching long jumpers, and Wright has shown a propensity to take (and miss) too many of them.

5. Prediction time: How does this next week or so play out?

MM: The Pelicans make a sign and trade deal with Sacramento, sending Greivis Vasquez to the Kings for Tyreke Evans. Then, Eric Gordon is moved to the Charlotte Bobcats for Ramon Sessions and Jeffrey Taylor. The Pelicans use the rest of the money to sign Chase Budinger and Carlos Delfino.

MG: Vasquez is traded, not to clear cap space, but because he turns out to be a valuable asset to a team looking for a starting caliber point guard on an insanely cheap contract (perhaps to a team looking to sign Dwight Howard). Vasquez & Lopez to Houston for Omer Asik is a possibility if the Rockets think they’re landing Howard and the Pelicans decide they don’t need to go out and get an expensive player at small forward. I’ve already probably made one wrong prediction, so I’ll stop here.

JG: The Pelicans sign Tyreke Evans to a 4 year-$40 million offer sheet, Kings match. Then the Pelicans go after remaining free-agents at the small-forward position, most notably Dorell Wright. Trade Vasquez and Robin Lopez OR Jason Smith to Denver for Danilo Gallinari. Fill in the center position as needed.

JM: We’ll hear a lot of rumors about the team being interested in almost every small forward available in free agency. Ultimately, I think they miss out on the top talent players like Iggy and Evans, end up signing Wright, and trade Gordon, giving them flexibility to make a move near the trade deadline

MP: Evans is signed and traded to us for Vasquez and Gordon is moved to another team. Dell goes after some second-tier small forwards and grabs two of them, electing to play them by committee.

JC: Demps tries to get Deng for Gordon. The Bulls “need help for Rose” but have no real room in which to operate, so moving Deng for some offense they’ll control for 2 – 3 years who can also defend well is smart for them. The Pelicans get a solid vet on an large expiring contract who will likely take a discount next season. If that gets lined up, do what it takes to get Tyreke or Kevin Martin, including cutting or trading Lopez or including Vasquez, if necessary.

Joe: As much as I want to believe that Iggy is on his way here, he’ll probably go to a team more ready to truly contend. Vasquez won’t be here when the season starts, but we’ll land Kevin Martin, a temporary patch at the small forward position, and a few smaller pieces. Dell will retain some flexibility. As for Gordon, it wouldn’t surprise me if he winds up starting the season on the roster. A few months of solid play would drastically increase his value, which is at or near historical lows currently.


  1. Arabi

    July 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Holy shit Mason you were on Fourth Down on Four last night? Go get em.

    • MasonGinsberg

      July 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Arabi Yes sir. Just linked to the video of it above.

  2. mknkachow

    July 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    ” a stable and structured franchise like the Pelicans”
    Reading this made me happy

  3. shantadiva

    July 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Where’s Ryan Schwan?  I would have liked his input on these topics too.

    • ryanschwan

      July 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      shantadiva I’m not as fleet of foot as those above.  I can only do a couple things at once.  On that note, go read my Skynet piece!

  4. andregurov

    July 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Any thoughts that 90% of the NBA news is leaked untruth?  Of all these entertaining scenarios and names bandied about, the only one that is true is that Dell Demps has a plan.  And we won’t know about it ’til it happens!
    One has to think, though, that the possibility of going into the season with Martell Webster, Dorell Wright, or Copeland as our starting 3 MUST give Demps the willies.  There is no way we can be taken seriously as challengers to the Western title with any of them in the starting lineup.  And if that is true, then Demps must have a plan to restructure the roster or salaries on the roster to bring in a higher quality SF, unless we are still that mythical “year away”.

  5. Papa Pelican

    July 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Lets get Joe “Lil Dirk” Ingles

  6. Caffeinedisaster

    July 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Tyreke is fascinating.  
    1.  Would being on a “team” (not whatever you want to call Sac) help with his growth and would we see better play because of it?
    2.  Would this mean Eric Gordon is gone?
    3.  Could we convince him to play the 3?
    4.  Where would the shooting come from?

    • Papa Pelican

      July 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      The Kings want Gordon to play the point.

  7. mrcatz22

    July 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    What about going after Al Jefferson or Nikola Pekovic? If Dell can get one of them with some cap left over, maybe we can still afford a Webster/Wright/Delfino. The Jazz could use Vasquez and having Lopez to backup or maybe even start fro Enes Kanter sounds like a decent fit for Utah. And the Wolves could use Lopez though probably not Vasquez if a sign and trade was proposed. If we did this, our bench would be boosted with Anderson coming off it.

    • mazonmafia

      July 2, 2013 at 2:20 am

      mrcatz22 Jazz just traded for Burke…

  8. DavidLeBoeuf

    July 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I don’t think this team can afford to stop-gap the SF position.  They traded away the uber-valuable 2014 1st round pick.  They need to win and win now, and slapping Martel Webster or Dorrell Wright into your starting lineup ain’t gonna get it.  Trading Gordon should not be that hard.  There are too many small market, low self esteem, desperate teams out there that would take the risk on that contract for a top tier type talent.  Think Charlotte, Milwaukee, Detroit, etc.  Sign and trade w/ Milwaukee for a JJ Reddick possibly?  I could see something like that materializing.

    • GarrettDangerPlatner

      July 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm


      • ecolli

        July 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm

        GarrettDangerPlatner DavidLeBoeuf agreed after the top 5 and mainly the top 10 you are dealing with players who would have been in the same draft spot in this years draft like glen robinson III

      • hewhorocks

        July 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm

        Its not the ability to garner a superstar rather the belief that the Pelicans are more than 2 holes away from contention. Injuries aside they were 18 wins out of the 8th playoff spot in the west. Jrue likely makes a difference of 5 games. Davis continuing to improve and acclimate brings in another 5? In the absence of other developments that still leaves the Pelicans 8 games short of  being the nearly irrelevant 8th seed.  There is no guarantee that draft picks equate to great players but the Hornet’s last season showed was that they arent a couple moves from the top, they are a couple of players from the bottom. Moving forward in the short term  the  Pelicans realistically have no  help coming in the draft. FA are expensive and more so for non-contending teams. So New Orleans is now left with “out smarting the field”  or “over-paying” in a small market. Maybe  Dell can do it, maybe Jrue is actually the just beginning a long string of All star seasons. Maybe they can add an impact SF and climb up into the 5th seed, or maybe we’ll see Noel, Burke and McLemore all become solid contributors and next years pick will only be a # 10 and a player like Bynum, Paul George, Brook Lopez, or Brandon Jennings.

      • Jason Calmes

        July 2, 2013 at 8:32 pm

        hewhorocks I’m not so sure you are accounting for everything. The injuries and dead money forced rotations that would not have been rational in most cases. The publicized article about Rivers being on pace for the worst WARP season ever was mostly driven by the minutes he was getting early. There are some hidden wins in there due to the minute distribution and the lack of talent on the roster due to the dead money.

  9. holiday11

    July 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    jrue career 37% 3pt 
    gordon career 36 % 3pt
    why is everyone saying they won’t be able to spread the floor if they get iggy or tyreke… especially with ryan anderson stretching the floor as well….

  10. GarrettDangerPlatner

    July 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I think it’s impossible to predict what will happen. Literally no one saw the trade for Holiday coming.

  11. _CoachD

    July 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    If stupid ESPN Trade Machine would work… I’d show you how the NOLA – Phoenix  – Portland (or someone) 3 Way would work. Followed by signing of Reke Evans and a SF / Back-up Big. Just wait as my inner-Demps comes to light I guess.

  12. Mkerrigan1

    July 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    This is looking great!! Sign Tyreke in a sign and trade with Vasquez. Cut Lopez (or find a suited to take him and save 5 mil.) Then send Gordon to Denver in a sign and trade for Iggy. That would leave us a small amount to pick up a serviceable 5.
    1. Jrue
    2. Tyreke
    3. Iggy
    4. AD
    5. ???
    The 5 isn’t a huge deal most of the time as I feel AD and Ryno will be on the floor together more than not!!

    • _CoachD

      July 2, 2013 at 9:05 am

      Mkerrigan1 My only issue is who shoots the ball in that line-up? Reke/Iggy both slashers. No spacing. Not good.

  13. 504ever

    July 1, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Pelican offer Evans $40M-$48M over four years.  (I have to believe Gordon is gone!)

  14. Come On Pelican

    July 1, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Pelicans will dump Robin Lopez in order to sign Tyreke Evans. Evans is being signed to replace Eric Gordon, not to play SF or to come off the bench. There will be a sign and trade deal to send Eric Gordon to the Suns for Marcin Gortat. Pelicans can also pick up Gortat’s former back-up Hamid Haddadi for next-to-nothing. Pelicans will also deal Greivis Vasquez to the Pistons for Kyle Singler and then let Aminu and Singler battle it out all season for the starting SF spot.

    • 504ever

      July 1, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Come On Pelican  
       Interesting, but I think we need more at SF and we should have cap space for it in this scenario.

  15. Major504

    July 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    To be honest I think they should go after Josh Smith, he can play 3/4/5 depending on the situation. He would make this team better and ready to make a run. He is at he prime of his career and loads of playoff experience.

  16. ljoseph242001

    July 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    I hope we get Evans play him at the 3. I am a big believer in Monty Williams that he could get him to his full potential and I think Evans, Gordon, and Holiday can strech the floor. So i don’t why people think they can’t. If this happens I would LOVE this lineup just need to find a upgrade at Center.

  17. Houpgarou

    July 2, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Much as I’d like Gordon to remain on board and am encouraged by reports his movement is not imminent, I can’t shake feeling he’s on his way out in near future.
    As I look around, not too many takers are apparent. So many obvious choices (eg charlotte, orl, atl, phi) have new gms who will be hesitant to take on a large sketchy contract early in their tenure .
    A couple possibilities jump out-
    Dallas, missing out on Dwight or maybe even trying to add a sidekick on low odds he goes there, sends crowder, Marion and 2014 1st
    Milwaukee, losing Ellis, reddick, and possibly Jennings, sends ilyasova and ….the return of “el Titan”

  18. ericsnow

    July 2, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Evans pretty much the same size as Iggy Idk why him at 3 wouldn’t work also if were able to find a way to keep Gordon u have a line up that even okc would have a problem preparing for with holiday Gordon Evans Anderson n Davis it would create a lot of mismatches for teams 4 star players n a potential star player n Anderson Idk why dell would not take that chance at least until all star break we can easily trade Lopez for a 2nd year center n possibly picks n get a 1st rounder n a cheap role player for Vasquez

  19. Papa Pelican

    July 2, 2013 at 9:11 am

    If Gordon is part a trade with Phoenix i’ll work out Dudley backing up Evans and Beasley backing up Iggy.Beasley and Dudley contracts total $10 million with $3 million that can be used for Iggy’s deal.I know they’re trying to trade Lopez to make wiggle room for Evans contract.

  20. _CoachD

    July 2, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Been playing with Caps and this is what I think I get…
    1) Deal EG to Phx with Gortat going to Portland, and Wes Matthews and Hickson (S&T @ 4 mill for 3 years) to NOLA (saves 4 mill)
    2) Greivis to Sac for S&T Evans
    3) Lopez to Minny for S&T Budinger
    4) Re-Sign Aminu and Sign Center with Exception like Dalembert or Zaza or Timofey (would like Timofey)
    PG: Jrue – Rivers – Pierre
    SG: Evans – Matthews – Rivers
    SF: Budinger – Matthews – Aminu
    PF: Davis – Ryno – Smiht
    C: Hickson – Davis – Smiht – Timofey
    Think this team could win 48 or so games this year.

  21. Papa Pelican

    July 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Evans aint coming here the Pels being used like a bad rug.

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