A Farewell to Kings

By:
Published: July 7, 2013
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When they turn the pages of history
When these days have passed long ago
Will they read of us with sadness
For the seeds that we let grow”?

— Rush, A Farewell to Kings

New Orleans Pelicans News

Topping the stories of the week is the trade that will bring Tyreke Evans to the New Orleans Pelicans. Joining him will be second round draft pick Jeff Whithy. The trade required the Pelicans to send out Robin Lopez, Greivis Vasquez, and Terrel Harris.

The Pelicans’ search for a small forward seemed to range in a number of directions, but they ultimately decided upon bringing back Al-Farouq Aminu for a single season.

The offseason moves to this point, once completed, will bring the roster to:

Eric Gordon
Tyreke Evans
Jrue Holiday
Ryan Anderson
Anthony Davis
Al-Farouq Aminu
Jason Smith
Austin Rivers
Lance Thomas
Brian Roberts
Darius Miller
Pierre Jackson
Jeff Withey

Speaking of rosters and new faces, the Pelicans have announced their Las Vegas Summer League schedule and roster.

The New Orleans Pelicans announced their roster for the 2013 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Four players from the 2012-13 end-of-season roster (Darius Miller, Austin Rivers, Brian Roberts and Lance Thomas) are slated to participate.

The Pelicans will hold a mini-camp from July 8-11 in Las Vegas, with media availability following the morning sessions July 9-11. New Orleans kicks off the 2013 Summer League schedule July 12th against the New York Knicks, followed by contests against the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers before beginning the single-elimination tournament. All teams are guaranteed to play at least five games in Las Vegas.

The roster is:

Jim Eichenhofer has a bit about each player here.

The schedule is:

Austin Rivers is looking forward to getting back into action at Summer League after a hand injury ended his season. He has reported been working on his left hand, so the young guard may have some new tricks up his sleeve.

Jason Smith also spent some time in June learning some things about being a sportscaster.

Around Bourbon Street Shots

This was a busy week.

On this week’s In the NO, Ryan and Michael discussed Free Agency

Michael also profiled the 42nd pick in the draft, Pierre Jackson, while Ryan reminded everyone why Anthony Davis is really the focus of any move this team makes.

Guest contributor Nick Lewellen presented a look at how Free Agency works abstractly, while another article provides reminders of how to weigh free agency moves properly. Gerry V reacted to the draft and discussed the need for improvements in the guard rotation.

The site writers reacted to the Evans trade both before and after it was agreed to.

Jake and Michael Pellissier peeked into what the Pelicans’ backcourt may look liked in action. Pellissier looked at an effective Spurs play that the Pelicans may now be able to run. Jake looked at Jrue Holiday’s work in Philadelphia.

On the lighter side, Chris Trew examined some Pelicans-related material, or what should be Pelicans-related, in the media in the latest Trew to the Game.

Finally, Andrew compiled a video of every three-pointer Ryan Anderson made in his lone season as a New Orleans Hornet. As you might deduce, it’s quite a long video.

`Voices’ of the People

Well, the big news at this moment…Howard to the Rockets. So what does this mean? It means the door is open for the Pelicans to make the playoffs for sure. The Lakers have been drained, they are now just a big hole in LA. No Howard, no Bryant to start the season at least, no playoffs for you. With the upgrades the Pelicans have made, I think they are the obvious favorite for the 8th seed easily. Utah and Portland might like to think they have a shot, but do they? The Pelicans might even be able to jump the 8th seed and make in above another team or two with the talent they have now, and especially if they add a good SF. In the following couple of years, it’s looking even better as the team gets some experience together on the court.

Hang onto your seats, New Orleans, the Pelicans may well fly into the postseason in their first official year with the new name. That’s pretty awesome.

RobertWelch

I am curious to see if we will see Tyreke Evans as the ballhandler (PG) when Holiday is on the bench. Otherwise, if Gordon and Evans share majority of the SG minutes, Rivers will struggle to get minutes unless he managed to improve his playmaking ability. I would like to see Rivers see playing time and grow. I hope Tyreke would not block his way. I also agree with James that we need another perimeter shooter. Holiday and Anderson are very good-great but Evans, Gordon and Rivers are not great 3PT shooters.

Kempleton

So what this tells me is to expect greatness. Best 19 year old contribution per minute of any player in history? That’s how I read this

_CoachD

42 Sense

With Cap Room nearly eliminated and 13 roster spots consumed, the Pelicans are in the position to make a couple of signings before camp begins, and go into the season nearly as they are now, or when things become official, at least.

Dell can always make a trade, but there is only so much turnover a roster can take. With 3 nonguaranteed contracts (Roberts, Miller, Thomas), some room can be created if necessary, but the the Pelicans’ increased depth likely makes these players more valuables as developmental projects than as people-shaped Cap Room.

Though the exact details of the salary the Pelicans will be working with have not come out, rough projections show that they will be operating over the Cap for the next 2 seasons at least, and for 3 if Gordon is on the team and picks up his player option.

Everyone agrees, I think, that this roster is not complete and needs changes. Dell can always trade players, plus they will have the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception as the primary tool to sign free agents. They will also have the Biannual Exception and trade exceptions they may pick up.

While Cap Room was essential in making the particular trades for Evans and Holiday this offseason, the real key in getting to the table was the lack of albatross contracts and the increased production of players on good contracts. In the Evans trade, the value of Vasquez and Lopez reaching the highest to date in their careers was an undeniable factor, while the improved play of Jason Smith had to be a factor in trade Noel. This is not to say that Smith can become the player that Noel may become, but the play he provides, along with the confidence in their own program of player development, let them trade the potential All-Star for an All-Star.

Until a major Pelicans contract is unloaded, these factors will play greater and greater roles in the team’s evolution. Gone are the days of fans cheering the day when a laundry list of players’ contracts are up. Players with good value who may further improve are going to be dealt for players with higher profile who may prove to be undervalued. Those same players may also be dealt for expiring contracts so the market to absorb undervalued players actually increases.

With the new day comes new costs and a new way of doing business. It will take some time to adjust.

18 comments
NOH Domination
NOH Domination

What are the chance pierre jackson and jeff withey can play during summer league?

Houpgarou
Houpgarou

Jason, quick salary question if you can help.  My understanding is that minimum contracts can be signed at anytime irregardless of cap situation. so..... if we theoretically have agreements in place with lance, b-rob, darius to sign them at the minimum as well as plan to sign our 2nd rounders at that rate.....

that would leave us with 2M plus in cap space so we could sign two 2.5 M players in addition to the above mentioned players

tmbocage1
tmbocage1

Looking at the roster, it appears that well be about 10 deep going into the season. That's OK, considering how Monty handles the bench minutes with Evans, Rivers, and Smith, who I think will be our top reserves. We now have some versatility at every position with room to grow. The Pellies are definitely on the way up and I wouldn't be surprised if they challenged for the 8th or 7th seed next year. The big question mark is Eric Gordon's health. If he can play at least 65- 70 games, then we'll have success.

kaclemen
kaclemen

One thing we have done is stockpiled "trade-able" assets to acquire better players that fit Monty's system. I won't be shocked if Gordon is moved at some point this year to free up cap space, if aminu is moved, I wouldn't be shocked if Evans or holiday get moved to get a similar player at a cheaper price. I think this will be a fun season but looking long term this roster looks pieced together to spark interest, sneak into the playoffs, and stockpile talent to build a team down the road. I was on board with the Reke move but as we inch closer to the final roster I don't like the fact that we will have limited rebounding, limited 3 point shooting, and a stable full of guards who all do the same thing -- slash. Sorry but to say Jason smith, Jeff Withey, and Ryan Anderson can be dominate rim protectors and defenders because they all sand around 7 feet is misleading. I love ryno for what he brings to the table but we need some "nasty" down low ---

kaclemen
kaclemen

Here is my thing ---

Where is this roster going? I think we really missed the boat with this group. Brewer or Wright would have brought this thing together better. The 3 ball is such a vital aspect of this league and with the slashers on the court I think another 3 pointer shooter would have brought this plan full circle. We were one if the worst 3 point shooting teams last year and we arguably got worse. Aminu while he fills the SF spot doesn't do anything for us offensively. I would think the 8th seed is attainable but we have some glaring holes! Playoff contention will breath life into this franchise but it will be interesting to see what happens with this roster.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes moderator

He's not on the Pelicans regular roster yet either because the trade isn't complete yet. 

Formality. 

Unless they trade him. 

It's all nerdy nonsense. Ignore it for the betterment of your health.

Same with(ey).

nolahog
nolahog

Why isn't Pierre Jackson on the summer league roster?


AngryCookies
AngryCookies

I think we should still trade Eric Gordon for an expiring contract and 1st rd pick around the allstar break both Danny Granger and Luol Deng will be UFA next year. But right know I think we should cut Lance Thomas and sign a center like Samuel Daembert.

Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

What might have been?

Burke goes 1-12 from the field (0-4 on 3pts) in his debut with Utah vs Miami in the Orlando Summer League...finishes with 7ref, 5ast, 2 TO, and 8pts (6-8 FT). Had trouble getting shots off driving the lane...

Oladipo makes Orlando's first 8 pts (3,3,2) and finishes with 18pts, 6reb, 7ast, 6TO vs Celts.  Olynyk nets 25 for Celts

Michael Carter-Williams hits 26pts for 76ers in a losing effort vs Rockets...

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes moderator

The cap room is less than you say, but usually min guys are signed last by teams with room because they slide into their own exceptions.

Good cap management.

Good eye.

Houpgarou
Houpgarou

@tmbocage1  

still need one more big, cant count on withey yet and I think you need more than ryno anthony jsmith and lance there

macs21
macs21

@kaclemen There is no argument that could logically say we got worse. We have a better playmaker, another guy who shoots over 33% and got rid of the two slowest players on the team. Now all our ball handlers can attack the paint more effectively and create better looks for our genuine 3 point threats. Those being Holiday, Gordon and Evans. Gordon barely played last year and he's a far superior shooter to both ROberts and Rivers from three.

If you want 3 point shooters then stop talking about Brewer. He was one of the least effective chuckers in the NBA last year. 
Wright would have been great and so would Delfino, they went to other teams so we avoided wasting money and signed Aminu for a year. Probably the best strategy available when you think about it from a reasonable perspective.

Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

@Roger.That. I do believe we are better off in the interim with the 4yr-just-made-the-all-star-team-point-guard, as well...a little seasoning + above average talent equals Pelican wins sooner...and later!

bigindian
bigindian

@Pelican Poster 

Marco Belinelli dropped 37 in his first summer league game.  Summer league stats mean nothing.

kaclemen
kaclemen

Nobody said we got worse. I stated we will compete for 8th seed (probably get swept in first round).

No doubt we got better but we have emptied the piggy bank and used our cap space doing so. I just hope the moves coming will be fruitful I hope we didn't jump the gun a year early. Huge free agent class next year and unless we move some pieces we will miss out while lakers, mavs, and other west teams reload!

AngryCookies
AngryCookies

I highly doubt we get would get swept in the playoffs with the talent we have we probably won't win a series but we will be a tough out we are young but we have some playoff experience in Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson. When it comes to thr three point we have Ryan Anderson Darius Miller and Eric Gordon who almost made team usa for his shooting. Last Brewer wouldn't help with shooting and I'd rather have Aminu defending someone than him.