New Orleans Pelicans Scoop: Greg Monroe, NBA Draft, and Offseason Possibilities

Published: June 23, 2014

With just four days until the draft and eight days until the start of free agency, we take a look at some of the players that the Pelicans could target in the draft, free agency, and trades.

1. If Dell manages to get a mid to late first round pick on Thursday, who would you like to see Demps target?

McNamara: I am going to cheat here and pick two people, and I am also going to assume that the pick is in the late 1st/early 2nd range. For more of an instant impact, I love the idea of KJ McDaniels coming off the bench next season and bringing in tons of energy and defense to the second unit before eventually becoming the starting small forward in year two or three. But I also love the long term upside of Damien Inglis, especially after seeing what Monty did with Nicolas Batum, who is my player comparison for Inglis.

Pellissier: I watch very little college basketball, but traditionally, big men have a steeper learning curve than other positions.. so I’ll just say, if we do get a pick, I’d prefer it to be a small forward.

Madison: Two players in interest me. One is DeAndre Daniels out of UConn. He scored and rebounded well from the small forward position, and showed he was capable of taking over games in the tournament when his team was struggling. The other guy is Glenn Robinson III. He’s insanely athletic and possesses strong instincts. The problem is his shot, and given the Pelicans struggle at times from the floor, that is a big concern.

Ginsberg: I’m in the same boat as Pellissier on this one. Because the Pelicans currently have as many picks in this NBA draft as I do, I haven’t conducted nearly as much research as I typically find myself doing. This draft is one that seems to be deeper at the SF position than C, so that’s where my attention would be.

2. What would be the most you would be willing to give up both asset wise and salary wise to land Greg Monroe?

McNamara: First, let’s start with the salary. I can not give him the maximum and I must have the salary decline every season to work in conjunction with AD’s upcoming deal. I can go as high as 4 years/ $56 million, with year one starting at $15 million and the final year being worth $13 million (which will be a bargain by then). Now, the tough part – Would I give up Ryno? Yes, but they have to take Gordon too and I need Kyle Singler back. That is as far as I would go, not an inch further.

Pellissier: I have gone back and forth on Monroe and said that I’d trade Anderson for him earlier this season. That has changed. I like Monroe, but if I’m choosing between him at near-max money and Ryno at ~8 million, I’m taking Ryno. Monroe is a better overall player, but I don’t think he’ll be better value come the end of free agency.

Madison: I’m starting to really warm up to the idea of trading Anderson but I’d need something else in the deal to send him to the Pistons.Though if Detroit is willing to take on Gordon then I’m all for it. Salary wise, I’m not okay with giving him a max contract. I’d be okay with Mac’s deal of 4 years/ $56 million.

Ginsberg: I would be happy with a Tyreke Evans-esque deal (slightly declining every year) at a bit higher price tag (average of around $12 million/year). As far as assets go, if the Pistons are getting Anderson, they’re also taking Gordon. Anything else is involving one of the team’s “core four” is a non-starter for me.

3. If the following three players were available for Eric Gordon, how would you rank them in order of your preference: Javale McGee, Tyson Chandler, Larry Sanders?

McNamara: I would have to go: Chandler, McGee, Sanders. I don’t even know if I would do Gordon for Sanders straight up – that’s how worried about him I am. Chandler verse McGee is extremely close for me, and while I obviously love McGee’s upside, Chandler’s shorter contract and the flexibility that give me heading into the summer of 2015 wins out.

Pellissier: Chandler, McGee, Sanders. Chandler would be far more valuable to this team than Eric Gordon and we could re-sign him for less money next year or use the new cap space somewhere else. I still don’t think McGee is beyond salvaging, and given what I’ve heard about Sanders’ off-court issues, I don’t want him on this team.

Madison: Chandler, Sander, McGee. Chandler’s contract puts him at the front of the list. I have Sanders second just because of the difference maker he can be on defense, and the thought of him at full capacity paired with Anthony Davis is worth taking a flyer on him to me. McGee, I just have no idea what the Pelicans would be getting with him.

Ginsberg: McGee, Chandler, Sanders. If not for injury concerns, Chandler would be my top pick, but he has had trouble staying healthy recently, so slight edge to McGee. Between Sanders’ issues off the court and the fact that I really don’t see that much upside in his offensive potential, I’m putting him last. I would take him for Gordon, though.

4. YOU are the GM: Give us a realistic offseason that would make you happy.

McNamara: I would have two goals for this offseason: Trade Gordon and get PJ Tucker. I think a three-way trade with Indiana and Denver that sends Gordon and Ajinca out while bringing Javale McGee in is possible. Then, I put down a contract to Tucker that makes the Suns uncomfortable, forcing them to sign and trade Tucker to me, while I give them Pierre Jackson for their troubles. I re-sign Smith for a year and then Morrow using the room exception, giving me a roster that fits extremely well together with plenty of firepower offensively and the potential to be elite defensively.

Pellissier: Veterans, veterans, veterans. I think the temporary core of Davis, Holiday, Evans, and Anderson is good enough to start moving forward. Find some veteran players who know how to play so we can stop lamenting the silly mistakes that have haunted this team for the past few years. Let all of our free agents walk (except for Morrow. Sign him into room exception) and renounce their rights to reduce cap holds. Trade Gordon for JaVale McGee. Sign PJ Tucker to fill our small forward needs and throw in a minor asset or two for a sign/trade if necessary. See if Beno Udrih slips through the cracks and make a play for him to complete our guard rotation. Trade Pierre Jackson for a cheap wing prospect if he’s not needed for Tucker’s deal and add PJax’s Twitter/Instagram accounts as trade filler. Grab James Jones on the vet minimum. Use Melvin Ely’s dead money contract as part of a trade package or cut it.

Madison: I’ll make my answer simple. Sign LeBron James. Done. On a more realistic take: Move Eric Gordon. Sign a complimentary piece or two and set the team up to facilitate trades during the season.

Ginsberg: Moving Eric Gordon is far and away the priority for me. Even if nothing else could be done besides re-signing Morrow and Smith, I’d still be happy, because freeing up that cap space before next offseason is the goal. This summer, I think the Pelicans really need to be careful about using the MLE just for the sake of using it, or else they could end up with James Posey 2.0, so being conservative (at least for now) is key. Unload Gordon’s final two years (or hell, even convincing him to opt out of his last year) is the big goal.

5. Now, get into Dell’s head and give us your best prediction on how this offseason goes down for the Pelicans.

McNamara: I have wanted to move Gordon for years, but Dell has never found value that he deems worthy, and I don’t think this summer will be any different. I think, as a result, we will lose Morrow in free agency. It won’t be all bad news, though, as I think Dell will pull off a couple of trades to fill out the roster. I think he brings in Jared Dudley, either via sign and trade with Aminu or by taking on his salary straight up and getting the #26 pick too. Even if they don’t get that pick, I think they get one using Pierre Jackson. With that pick, they select Cleanthony Early. Dudley is the SF of the present, Early is the SF of the future. Then, they land Okafor with an exception and bring in Brandon Rush on a minimum contract.

Pellissier: I have an incredibly hard time predicting Dell. I can often see the types of players he’ll want to acquire, but rarely can I see how. I think SF and C are clearly the priorities this offseason. Dudley makes sense as a stopgap small forward. Dell has brought in at least one prospect from overseas every year he’s been here. I imagine this offseason is the same. I think Pierre Jackson is traded. I am 50/50 on Jason Smith leaving.

Madison: The Pelicans sign a center (Andray Blatche) and Jason Smith is let go. Anderson is talked about all offseason but no move materializes. The same thing will happen with Eric Gordon. His name is thrown out there but Demps never gets enough in return and we’re all stuck with him for another season. Aminu is brought back for another year, and the Pelicans actually buy a late first round pick.

Ginsberg: This may be a cop-out, but I’m abstaining. Tell me you guys saw ANY of Dell’s moves from last season coming. I sure as hell didn’t. He and Loomis are going to pull the rug out from all of us and make one big move that takes us all completely by surprise. We all have to hope it’s a measured move that doesn’t negatively impact the team in the long-term, but I have faith in Dell and the rest of the front office.


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