Welcome to the New Orleans Pelicans MLE Tournament

Published: June 1, 2014

The last two years you all have joined us for the 6th Pick and 10th Pick Tournaments. They were, by far, our most popular series and while most of us would do the Holiday trade again, the big casualty in that deal was that we lost the right to have another tournament this year. Well, a draft tournament at least.

But the MLE Tournament might be even more fun. For those who don’t know, the MLE is the Mid-Level Exception. It is an exception that teams at or near the cap can use to sign a player. This year, the MLE will allow teams to give out a contract up to 4 years and 22.8 million dollars. The Pelicans can also get close to $7 million under the cap and give up a slightly bigger contract too if they decline all options and renounce all Bird Rights.

Either way, they are looking at the ability to give up somewhere between $5-8 million per year over the length of the contract to one free agent or they can split that money up amongst two or three cheaper ones. The unique part of this tournament is we have assigned certain contracts to each player in order to make  the debate even more fierce. Our writers all got together and gave their best guess as to what kind of contract the player will get. We averaged those out, and that is how we came up with the numbers.

So unlike the Draft Tournaments, it is not just player vs. player, but player and contract vs. player and contract. Keep that in mind when you vote and when you weigh the arguments. Below are the contracts that each player will have. The tourney kicks off tomorrow!

            Bracket 1

Trevor Ariza (3 yr/19 mil)
Emeka Okafor (1 yr/5.5 mil)

Marvin Williams (2/9.5 mil)
Kevin Seraphin (3/10 mil)

          Bracket 2

Jordan Hill (2/8 mil)
CJ Miles (3/8.5 mil)

Nick Young (3/13 mil)
Andray Blatche (3/15 mil)

          Bracket 3

(3/22 mil) Spencer Hawes
(1/ 3 mil) Richard Jefferson

(2/7 mil) Caron Butler
(3/12 mil) Thabo Sefolosha

           Bracket 4

(2/5.5 mil) Jordan Hamilton
(2/9 mil) Kris Humphries

(1/5 mil) Danny Granger
(3/16 mil) PJ Tucker


  1. eMariii123

    June 1, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Why not just give Tucker that 4th year and the full MLE? Doesn’t make sense to only give three years and 5.3m/yr as opposed to four years and 5.7m/yr if you’re trying to outbid the other teams for his services. I realize that the contracts above are an average of what you guys expect the players to receive, but surely Tucker will require the full MLE at the very least, no?

  2. PelicanSaints

    June 1, 2014 at 10:29 am

    eMariii123 I think the reason you don’t give him the full MLE, because they’ll try to get 2 players with the exception…..I hope it would be a big who can board and defend…..

  3. 504ever

    June 1, 2014 at 10:32 am

    The brackets don’t work for me.  I want no one in Brackets 1 or 3, virtually everyone in Bracket 2 (Young only to replace Morrow, if we lose Morrow), and half of Bracket 4 (Hamilton and Tucker).  Speaking of Morrow, why isn’t he in the tournament?
    (I could possibly tolerate Okafor or maybe Seraphin at C, but wouldn’t be happy about not getting a starting SF with the MLE;  Seraphin would basically take Withey’s minutes and how does Seraphin only take about 25% of his shots 0-3 feet from the basket?  That scares me!)

  4. PelicanSaints

    June 1, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I would take Jordan Hamilton, he’s young and has some upside….I would bring in Dejuan Blair or Jeff Adrien, both guys can board and play defense and are high motor……

  5. hornet21

    June 1, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I would love to add Ariza to this lineup.  He’s the guy who could be
    your number 1 option but he is a guy who could be that wing player that
    we need.  The Pelicans are in a position where they don’t need a star
    player. They need solid role players.  It would be nice if they could work a trade with the Pacers to get Iammini.

  6. Treme86

    June 1, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    So what if they do a Gordon for Hibbert trade? There is some buzz and I don’t mind trading lemons for a position of need. Then mle morrow and a wing.

  7. mojart

    June 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Treme86 i would do that trade in a heartbeat…..then go after a tucker or ariza…and we are set…

  8. anewkindoffeelin

    June 2, 2014 at 8:00 am

    I’d like to add Ariza, but 3 yrs/$19M is a significant commitment to an aging player who already didn’t work out here once.

  9. MattC4

    June 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I really wouldn’t mind getting Humphries. He has a non-stop motor and will fight for every lose ball and rebound. He would add a physicality that’s not on this roster currently.

  10. jsl05

    June 2, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Isn’t the tourney supposed to start today?

  11. hornet21

    June 3, 2014 at 7:40 am

    eMariii123 U have to remember Tucker is no spring chicken. He just turned 29.

  12. Michael McNamara

    June 3, 2014 at 9:15 am

    hornet21 eMariii123 Yeah, nobody in the NBA finals is 29 or older. All young guys or bust!

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