New Orleans Pelicans Add Sharpshooter Anthony Morrow

Published: July 9, 2013

According to Yahoo’s Marc Spears, the Pelicans have agreed to terms with free agent guard Anthony Morrow. The deal is reportedly for two years at the veteran minimum, with the second year being a player option.

Morrow split his time last year between the Hawks and the Mavericks, appearing in 41 games, averaging 4 ponints per game on 44% shooting, including 37% from deep. Prior to last season, however, Morrow was a regular rotation player in both Golden State and New Jersey, averaging over 12 points per game and nearly 27 minutes in his first four seasons. His rookie year in Golden State saw him average over 10 points in under 23 minutes per game, while leading the league in three-point percentage (46.7%). You can argue that he improved his second year, despite a small dip in his 3-point percentage, as he averaged  13 points and hit 45.6% of his three-point attempts on nearly twice as many attempts. He finished 5th in the league in percentage, and landed in the top 20 in three-pointers made, despite only playing 2000 minutes.

Those two terrific seasons landed him a three-year, $12 million contract from the Nets. His first year in New Jersey was very similar to what he produced in Golden State, but he started getting phazed out the following year, and then last summer the Nets traded his expiring contract to the Hawks in the deal that landed them Joe Johnson. The Hawks drafted a very similar player in John Jenkins last year, and as a result, Morrow was never considered a part of their future. On February 21st, the Hawks moved Morrow to the Dallas Mavericks for Dhantay Jones. Soon after arriving in Dallas, he suffered a hip strain injury and that nagging injury cost him a good part of the second half of the year.

Morrow is a fantastic spot-up shooter, who has produced more than 60% of his points off of spot-ups and transition jump shots. He is limited in the half court when it comes to creating for himself and others, but he won’t be asked to do that in New Orleans. He will be a spot-up shooter, likely positioning himself on the wings, where he has been deadly over his NBA career. The contract is a low risk, medium reward one for the Pelicans. It is no lock that he makes the regular rotation, but at the very least, he provides depth. Best case scenario, he is the floor spacer we need when Ryan Anderson isn’t on the floor. Or perhaps they can play together and really give the guards and Anthony Davis space in the paint.

Remember, Dell is following the San Antonio model. Last season, the Spurs had seven guards on their roster and played different guys depending on matchups. They also had plenty of depth for when injuries occured, which they did to both Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli. Morrow might be a regular in the second unit or he could be a guy that they could throw in when the offense is struggling and in need of a boost. Basically, he is a younger Roger Mason with more upside. Don’t expect much defense, playmaking, or rebounding, but if he gets hot, he can change games. And when you are giving a guy a minimum deal, that is all you can ask for.


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