In the NO Podcast Episode 143: Pelicans Free Agency Wrap Up, Part 2

Published: July 8, 2013

Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty joins Michael and I to talk Tyreke Evans. We touch on everything – his defense, open floor acumen, abilities in the Pick and Roll, Isolation talents, whether he hates being a small forward, and if he would willingly take a sixth man role. Then, Michael and I delve into everything else. Line-ups, rotations, how players fit next to each other, and why I hate the idea of Ryan Anderson for Asik. Oh, and we talk about Aminu’s new contract, Pierre Jackson, Michael’s Mancrush on Jeff Withey, and Austin Rivers as well.

Lots o stuff!

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  1. Roger.That.

    July 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    In the BS Report podcast (part 2 of 2) today, Zach Lowe alludes that Tom Benson “wants to win now” and therefore the Pelicans “rolled the dice” on the Tyreke Evans deal in order to compete for a 7th or 8th seed, and our hero Bill Simmons audibly grunted and declared “overpaid is an UNDERstatement”.
    So there you have it, mates.  The pre-eminent basketball mind of our time does not approve of the Tyreke Evans signing.  They have not discussed the Jrue Holiday acquisition and we’re about 33% in.

    • bigindian

      July 8, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      Roger.That. I can’t tell if you’re sarcastically alluding to Simmons or seriously alluding to Lowe as the pre-eminent basketball mind of our time.  Both make sense.  Either way, let’s just wait and see what happens when the season starts.
      And spoiler alert, they never talk about the Holiday trade 🙁

      • Roger.That.

        July 9, 2013 at 10:52 am

        bigindian Roger.That. was referring sarcastically to Bill Simmons, who I do very much like, but also love to hate.

      • Singular

        July 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm

        bigindian Roger.That.
        Bill Simmons also predicted that the Lakers would be in the finals this past year – we see how that worked out:
        He also called numerous times for the Celts to fire Doc Rivers in the pre big 3 era, basically saying that he was a horrible coach.

    • Michael McNamara

      July 8, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Roger.That. That is so funny, because in his July 2nd podcast, he said Tyreke would be a brilliant signing, especially if a team were to make him a 6th man. 
      I guess he got a lot worse in the last week somehow

    • mateor

      July 9, 2013 at 12:54 am

      Roger.That. I am not going to listen to the podcast (takes too long, why doesn’t anyone post transcripts?) but I think it is pretty apparent that there was some internal pressure to speed the rebuild.
      I like the Tyreke signing, even though we obviously overpaid by maybe 1-2 mil a year. But I am still sore about the Jrue trade. I think speeding rebuilds for the sake of speed is generally a bad idea…and RFA’s should come with money-back guarantees…it is literally impossible to get a fair price on them.

      • Houpgarou

        July 9, 2013 at 11:55 am

        Realize that timing played a part. We’ve been looking for our pg of future and the opportunity arose because Philly was blowing it up this year in the riggin for wiggins race. Same way we plucked Ryno from the blowing it up magic last year. Have to strike when the iron is hot, just so happened that coincided with Bensons need/ desire to start competing and building the fan base. I think we did an exceptional job of doing that while maintaining a little wiggle room.

      • Roger.That.

        July 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm

        Houpgarou I feel like the Jrue trade was more of a no-brainer than the Evans signing.  The other option would have been to select McLemore with the 6th pick and slow-pedal the rebuild and maintain our cap flexibility, but from the “Pelicans draft board” insight we got from ESPN and this site, it seemed like DellMonty weren’t particularly high on McLemore’s fit with this squadron.

      • Houpgarou

        July 9, 2013 at 10:05 pm

        Loving the tryeke move too. If we’re in win now mode what other realistic fa brings as much to the team? Iggy? I was having lot of Peja flashbacks thinking of giving 50M to a guy on way to his twilight. I was pleased at idea of bringing in a real pg ( so yes jrue move is best as it addresses our most pressing need) and pushing greivis to 6 th man spot, but having reke to bring the buckets off the bench even better. Excited about seeing a lot of 3 guard run and gun bball

  2. RonJohn63

    July 9, 2013 at 12:24 am

    What’s a “D & 3”?

    • Michael McNamara

      July 9, 2013 at 7:54 am

      RonJohn63 A guy who is a solid defender and 3 point shooter

  3. 504ever

    July 9, 2013 at 1:11 am

    You ask why Aminu got $3.7M but you have him as starting SF, and 6th best Pelican when is the first and only guy you add to your best 5 who you both predicted to end the game.  My only question is why did Dell not give Aminu a longer terms deal for less per year.  I don’t question why the Pelican want him.  Last year he rebounded exceptionally well, scored well in transition (when he had the chance), and played solid defense.  Plus they have seen Aminu in workouts all summer.  I look forward to seeing what he has added to his game.

    As for Rivers, I have him at the 3rd best SG on this team, and 4th or 5th best PG.  It is hard to see him improving enough over the summer beat out enough players to be a member of the Pelican 2nd unit.

    • Michael McNamara

      July 9, 2013 at 7:54 am

      504ever 7th best Pelican, at best – behind Jason Smith and closing 5. 
      The issue is not as much with Aminu as Aminu vs. other options. Delfino, Dunleavy, and Wright were all signed for less money, and all of those guys have produced far more than Aminu up to this point. It is curious that a team that is so clearly focused on making a playoff push would choose the least productive SF available of that mid tier and pay him more than the others. 
      Yes, he has the highest ceiling, but he also has the lowest floor. Next to the other moves made this offseason, it is curious, to say the least

      • 504ever

        July 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm

        Michael McNamara 504ever 
        I would love to know what was going on with the negotiations involving those other guys, and how interested the Pelican were in each.

        Also, Michael, I’ll argue with you about 6th or 7th best for Aminu after we play half of the season.  But here is my first salvo: who benefits more from a faster pace and the addition of two (and a half if Gordon is significantly healthier in 13-14), high quality, guards who can spot up for the 3, or drive and dish?  In say it is the quicker, more athletic Aminu more so than anyone else not in the top 5.  The guards will help others too, including Smith (who I love) but Aminu should have the athletic advantage at SF (and PF where he may play, too) and he won’t be just stuck in the corner on so many offensive sets.  I expect him to get moved around in sets within 15 feet from the basket, like Davis was at times last year.  (How do opponents defend lineups with Aminu and four of Davis, Anderson, Gordon, Evans, and Holiday?  And, take away Anderson, and you have a very strong defensive team, than can set up a fast run out.)

      • Roger.That.

        July 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm

        Michael McNamara 504ever I feel like Aminu is a better basketball player than Jason Smith for what we’re asking of him.  A starting SF who fits our needs pretty well (if you buy into that “Z graph” philosophy).  Smith is a forced fit – we don’t have enough skilled bigs.  Aminu is a true fit – a poor man’s (and retarded man’s) Andre Iguadala if you will.

      • macs21

        July 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        Jason Smith is pretty skilled.. Good defender, both individually and in a team concept. Decent rebounder. One of the best mid-range shooters in the NBA.
        I’d say that’s pretty skilled.

        The pod cast nails Aminu, he’s a transition SF who plays above average D on an individual level but gets lost/ball watches in a team environment. He’s a strong rebounder and is probably more ideally suited to being a small ball 4 than a 3 where the there is less of a requirement to shoot around 35%+ from 3 and more of an emphasis on rebounding/running.

  4. AngryCookies

    July 9, 2013 at 1:57 am

    To people complaining about overpaying Evans that what happens when your bad team you have to overpay free agents to come to your team. Lets say we offer Evans 4yr 36 million and so does Chicago who do you think he would sign with.

  5. TristanBisnezzWilliams

    July 9, 2013 at 7:59 am

    We are title contenders in 2014-2015 Mark my words.

  6. TristanBisnezzWilliams

    July 9, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Aminu/Ryno/future 1st rounder for Asik/parson. Leggo dealer dell

    • AngryCookies

      July 9, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Omg I’m glad your not our gm we give up Anderson and a first round pick smh. The Houston rockets will not trade Parsons with his cheap contract and after his role of bringing Dwight to Houston they won’t turn around and trade him idiot that’s common sense.

      • Roger.That.

        July 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm

        AngryCookies This trade would make sense for both teams if Houston gets desperate enough.

  7. Caffeinedisaster

    July 9, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I predict Austin Rivers goes off this season.  Even if he just slides into a solid bench player, he’ll STILL win most improved.  He was THAT bad last year. (aside from the end of the season, of course) 
    He’s said he’s never felt so athletic.  I often assumed that last year he had some nagging injuries.  Compared to how he looked in high school (explosive as hell; almost every finish was a monster dunk) he just looked wore out last year.
    From what he’s said in recent interviews, I believe he’s ready to make a statement this year and prove that last year was the exception to the rule.
    Ima go off.

  8. Ogden Park

    July 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    The Aminu discussion was painful.
    The fascination with Dorrell Wright, Delfino and any other completely mediocre forward on a multi year deal instead of one year (no risk) of the best rebounding SF in the L is head scratching to say the least.
    Dell is playing chess while any talk of these inflated dudes is checkers. FLEXIBILITY. 
    We just watched Dell play the flex card to the max perfectly. One year of Aminu (who has improved every year so far) was the right play considering the SF market (crap). He is a valuable contributor, will play perfectly in the open floor with our guards , and can guard the bigger wings if Reke struggles.

    • Roger.That.

      July 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Ogden Park agree 100%.  None of those middling SF’s are going to lead us to the next level… it’s better to keep our options open and “tread water” without locking ourselves into a Peja or Posey-like long term deal that will crimp our room for growth in future offseasons.  We still have a potential dollar piece in EG10 who could conceivably bring back a young stud and cap relief if he ever shows up… I think that EG10 will in some way turn into our longterm 3 or 5.

    • JabberWalker

      July 9, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Ogden Park I feel like your argument is looking at the bottom number of a player.  You see 3&D SF’s as ‘middling’.  This is true by their NBA2K13 numbers.  They are not going to be the most meaningful player on your team, but you know what they can do? spread the floor.  With a 3 point shooter on the floor, even tucked in a corner doing nothing, his defender is forced to either slack off of him or stick with him leaving spots open on the floor for players like Evans and Gordon to operate.  That is why Aminu seems to be a weird signing.  He is more athletic, a better rebounder, and better off the break, but in the half court set you want a cheap shooter who doesn’t hurt you on the defensive end.
      And saying that Aminu has improved every year?  Here’s what the numbers have to say per 36 Minutes:

      Season   FG
      3P  3PA
      FT  FTA  FT%

      2010-11   4  10.1 39      1.1  3.5   31    2.3  3      77     1.9   4.8    6.6   1.5   1.5   0.6   2.6    3  11.3

      2011-12  3.7
      8.9  41      0.3  1.1   27    2.1  2.8   754  2.3   5.2    7.5   1.6   1.4   0.8   2.2  3.3  9.7

      2012-13  3.9
      8.3  47      0.1  0.3   21    1.8  2.4   737  2.4   7.8  10.2   1.8   1.6   0.9   2     2.7  9.7

  9. Edbballin504

    July 9, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    2 reasons why the Anderson for Asik deal WON’T happen:
    1. Dell LOVES Anderson. Multiple times he said that he wants Anderson to have his retired jersey hung in our arena. Has been watching Anderson since college and Anderson is the perfect fit with his personality, spirituality, good guy/ family guy image.
    2. Dell has made it clear that he is not interested on trading long term assets for short term ones. Asik only has 2 years left on his deal. That’s not gonna cut it.

    • Edbballin504

      July 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Yeah I think it goes from 5m to like 15m in the final year. No thanks. A
      list of potential centers Dell would take back in a deal now are Noah,
      McGee, and Mihini based on the criteria he’s been using for trades. I
      think its more realistic to get a stop gap center like Dalembert, or let
      Jason Smith or Withey handle it. Next summer I’d love to see us go
      after Gortat or Varejou (if he opts out).

      • Jason Calmes

        July 9, 2013 at 8:26 pm

        Edbballin504 xman20002000 The payment to the player is as you say. The cap hit is around $8.3m. Weird, but that’s the way it is.

  10. wjb

    July 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I agree that given all the other well calculated moves we’ve seen from Demps this offseason, Aminu’s contract figures stick out like  a sore thumb, but maybe there is a reason.  Regarding comparing his contract numbers to the other available (and admittedly more accomplished players) you cant ignore that those players were signed to multi-year deals, albeit for less money.  In my opinion Aminu’s one year, overvalued contract signals one, maybe even two things.
    First, Aminu will not be back with the Pelicans next year.  With that type of money on a one year deal, if he were to sign a 2 year deal next summer he would have to take a pretty serious paycut in order to level his value out over the 3 year period, something a player in his mid-20s is not likely to do.  But this still doesn’t answer why sign him for that much when we could have gotten a better product for cheaper?  And thats where I’ll dig deeper into speculation.
    I think the reason Demps overpaid Aminu is because he is going to be dealt at some point in the season.  By signing him to a one year deal that is overvalued on its face, Dell not only avoided further committing to a growth and development project for another year, but he made Aminu more attractive as a trade asset by giving him a high value (relatively), expiring contract.  And although Aminu’s expiring contract is not on the level of Richard Jefferson or Biedrins, it would provide enough relief for a team to sign a few role players the next season; and that may just be enough to tip the scale in a potential trade.  
    I like Aminu, but I can’t say that I would be unhappy to see him go if it meant bringing in a viable starter at SF or a powerhouse Center to help AD.  But by overpaying him this season, at the very least I think Demps is giving him a pat on the back while walking him out of the door, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from a class act like Dell.
    As for who we trade for, I think it’s too early to know for sure, but my money is Granger.   It was rumored that IND was looking for Gordon and Lopez in exchange for Granger and Green’s bad contract.  When we moved Lopez the potential for that deal obviously fell apart.  However, although we can’t offer them another C to back up Hibbert, we can now take Green’s overpaid contract off their hands, while also providing them with a $3.7M expiring deal.  That would give IND roughly $7.2M for free agency next season, and also give them a hometown, starting SG while only costing them a bench player in Granger.  The Pelicans on the other hand would get the SF we’ve been looking for while not being forced to commit past next season if his health remains a concern, as Granger’s deal is also expiring.  In turn, not only would we have the escape route from any lingering medical issues Granger may have, but we also could then be big players in a stacked 2014 FA class if we decided not to retain him.  As I said before, the trade is obviously speculatory (and admittedly self-serving on my part) but I don’t think it’s that far fetched.  But then again you never can predict what back channels Dells has been navigating; who knew Jrue Holliday could be had for a couple of picks?
    Sorry for the lengthy post too, but I don’t comment that often so I wanted to let it all hang out when the topic was right.  Great job on the site guys.

    • wjb

      July 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      xman20002000 wjb I’m all for player development and frankly, I really don’t have any qualms with keeping Aminu around at all.  As you said, he is a great rebounder (which we need desperately at this point), an excellent athlete in the open floor, and certainly is in a position to be more effective this season given the roster overhaul.  He also clearly enjoys playing for Monty as he has shown consistent progression season to season.  But even given that we had to bring him back at that amount under the CBA guidelines, why then did we not sign him for more than one season if we are truly committed to the development project?  That’s where my speculation came from, as ultimately it just seems like an odd move for Dell, who is usually very calculated.  I’m not saying we HAVE to trade him, it just seems like a set up the more I think about it.
      As to the Granger trade idea, I agree that he is likely past his prime, but I am more intrigued in the cap relief we would get from moving Gordon and the potential cap relief we would get from Granger’s deal, which expires at the end of next season, than I am in the idea of taking on an aging SF with all too familiar knee problems.  But I certainly wouldn’t mind getting a good look at him for half a season.  
      Also, I’m a huge Miller fan so perhaps he could be our next development player.  He already has a decent 3-pt stroke, just needs an increase in defensive aggression and rebounding.

    • JabberWalker

      July 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      wjb Well thought out post.  Please, post more.

  11. Jo D

    July 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Anthony Morrow… 2 Year Deal… I Can Dig It…Upgrade Over Mason

  12. Roger.That.

    July 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    What does everybody think about Zach Lowe trying to nickname us the “Pellies”?

    • Caffeinedisaster

      July 10, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Roger.That. I shall can us the “Cans”.

      Pellies is stupid.

  13. JabberWalker

    July 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    This podcast was absolutely amazing.  Thanks guys!  Tom Ziller was fantastic.  Its amazing how much more you can learn about players from the analysts of that player’s fan base.  I still regularly have to remind my friends that Vasquez isn’t as special as they think he is.  I would love an “In the NO: Tour of the NBA” where you interview Truehoop writers from every other team to get their thoughts on their team as well as the Pelicans.  I think we could all learn a lot from it.

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