New Orleans Pelicans Add Shooters in Salmons, Fredette, and Miller

Published: July 18, 2014

After the trade for Omer Asik, Dell Demps had the core of his roster in place, but there were still holes on the wings. As the saying goes, ‘You can never have enough shooting’, and Dell is proving that by adding John Salmons, Darius Miller and Jimmer Fredette to fill out the roster this week, according to reports. While John Salmons struggled a bit last season with other aspects of his game, he was still a terrific shooter, as he nailed 42.6% of his catch-and-shoot 3-pt attempts. Jimmer Fredette was at 50% on catch-and-shoot threes last year, though on a limited sample size. And Miller has always been a good shooter when he is willing to let them go. He hesitates far too often, but last season we saw Miller take a step forward as he was instrumental in wins over the Clippers and Thunder late in the year.

Salmons is the guy most likely to get significant minutes when all these guys are healthy, and the hope is that he thrives in a more limited role. In Sacramento and Toronto, he handled the ball a lot, with pick and rolls and isolations accounting for over 40% of his possessions. He was ineffective in those settings, but was great when he just set his feet and shot off of kick outs. With Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday, Russ Smith, and Austin Rivers all likely to handle the ball, the hope is that all Monty will ask Salmons to do is hit the spot-up three.

Just over 35% of Salmons two-point baskets were assisted on. It is no coincidence that he shot just 35% from two-point range. Meanwhile, nearly 94% of Salmons three-point makes were assisted on. It is also not a coincidence that he shot 39% from three, including 47% from the corner. If utilized properly, there is no doubt that Salmons can have a positive effect on the offensive end. The bigger question is whether his 35-year-old legs can keep up with the young wings on the other end. Watching his defensive possessions on Synergy, I see an intelligent team defender with length that should be able to push his man into the defensive lockjaw that is Anthony Davis and Omer Asik.

Jimmer Fredette is the biggest variable of the three. A 10th overall pick just three years ago, Fredette is now on his third team and has been an effective scorer, but is a guy coaches need to hide on the other end. He also tends to play with the ball too much on the offensive end, as he still seems to believe he is more of a point guard than a shooting guard. As I noted, he is a terrific spot-up shooter, but over his career, only about 15% of his shots have come on the spot-up while nearly 50% have come out of the pick and roll.

When you sign guys for the minimum, you play the ‘If’ game. If Anthony Morrow could stay healthy, he could be a real find for this team. If Alexis Ajinca can keep from fouling so much…. If Pops Mensah-Bonsu…., etc. Well, it’s no different for Jimmer. IF you can hide him on defense and put one or two shot blockers behind him, and IF you convince him to just catch-and shoot, then you might have a bit of a steal here.

Darius Miller is no different. IF he can play with the defensive intensity that we saw him play with against Durant and IF he has the confidence in his offensive game that he showed against the Clippers, then his experience in this system can give him a chance to jump into the rotation. What Dell Demps has done here is throw 20-25 minutes out there in front of numerous players who are desperate to prove that they belong in this league and told them to go out there and prove that they can get the job done.

They don’t have to do too much. The superstar is here. The playmakers are all over the court. Just catch-and shoot, oh and play some defense. In addition to these three, Luke Babbitt has been working all summer to improve his speed and agility so he can defend the small forward position. It looks like there are some hungry shooters on the Summer League team too, but with guaranteed contracts, these guys will have the first crack at those 20-25 minutes. And what they need to do is clear: Just Catch. And Shoot.


  1. jmbell7

    July 18, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I’ll just copy and paste my comment from the other article.
    A common knock against Fredette is that he can’t create his own shot. I don’t think people that say that have watched him play. Jimmer gets buckets, plain and simple.
    Jimmer also allows buckets, which is the problem.
    Maybe in time he can contribute 6-10 minutes a game with the right unit around him.
    Another thing worth noting is that his percentages have improved every year. He shoots near 50% from 3, and has drastically raised him FG% since his rookie % of 39% (up to .475). His true shooting percentage has improved every year as well, and is now 6th best among all PGs. Only his Turnover Ratio got worse, but his Assist Ratio increase as well. I hope he gets some playing time, although Monty won’t like his defense.
    I also like his knack for finding bigs on the short dump-off passes when he drives. He also makes some nice passes in the pick and rolls. Just gotta get those turnovers down.
    I think he got written off after his rookie season, and then became another product of the Kings culture. In CHI he only played 8 games. I fully expect him to outperform his contract. I think this will go down as another great (albeit small) signing by Dell.

  2. bpec12

    July 18, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Any chance Darius is given the starter job to lose

  3. 504ever

    July 18, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    In the big picture, it is very likely we have our longterm solution at C and we will get a significant upgrade at SF within a year.  But in my opinion the quality of our SF position this year is similar to last year’s, and that is a disappointment and a concern for the 14-15 season.  There are only two experience SFs on the roster: oldie Salmons (who I like more than most) and bowling ball Evans (who is really a guard and will probably play guard next year).  I thought we needed a youngish athletic ‘3 &D’ SF.  
    So why did we sign Jimmer?  Does he make Rivers more expendable?  Do we know we are not picking up Rivers $3.1M option for 15-16 and need a backup plan?
    Overall, the Asik deal makes this summer a great success and I am happy with the one year Salmons deal.  But I thought we would sign a CDR type SF for the minimum, not a one dimensional PG.

  4. jmbell7

    July 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    bpec12 I’d rather an open competition. At this point, no one’s earned it, and you get the most out of players through competition.

  5. jmbell7

    July 18, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    504ever By one dimensional, do you mean only an offensive threat? Because Jimmer is certainly more than one dimensional on the offensive side.

  6. Michael McNamara

    July 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    To me the Jimmer signing signals that Evans will get the vast amount of his mins at SF, like I projected the other day. Has nothing to do with Rivers. If injuries happen to EG, Jimmer can be moved into the rotation for a few minutes.
    A min contract with some upside and no downside. Is not a thret to anybody on the roster

  7. 504ever

    July 18, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Michael McNamara
    I worry this was the last roster spot. So not getting a SF is my downside.

  8. wilthomas178

    July 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Say what you want about Demps, but he is the most hard-working and resourceful GM’s in the NBA.. 
    It’s rather lazy  for some GM’s to just sign three big high-priced free agents and surround them with d-league talent and say go when the title for me.. Anybody can do that..
    but how many can actually fill out a roster with significant talent around their superstar without losing anything of tangible value in return.. 
    Just think for second..Under the Gun from a win now or else owner and fan base  with limited cap space and resources this off-season, he managed to improve this roster more than anybody ever anticipated .. and didn’t weight the team down with bad contracts to do it.. 
    This GM is a keeper.. An almost invaluable asset to this organization

  9. Michael McNamara

    July 18, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    504ever Michael McNamara If Evans is going to play mostly SF, and you have Salmons, Miller, and Babbitt (who has been working to play SF), then I don’t see the need for another SF.

  10. 504ever

    July 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Michael McNamara 504ever
    It’s a quality issue, too.  To me, this is THE question for this season: are our SFs good enough to make the playoffs?

  11. New City

    July 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    We get too hung up on positions. What we needed was shooting to space the floor. Dell rounded up a passel on the cheap. We can mix and match and see who can contribute best to the core. I kind of hope it’s Darius but Salmons will probably get the first shot at the job.

  12. Michael McNamara

    July 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    504ever Michael McNamara I agree/disagree. I don’t think they have to be “good” enough. Just not bad. Just don’t mess it up for 20-25 mins a game

  13. ljoseph242001

    July 18, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I’m not a fan of Salmons (i just think he is trash, old and on the decline) i would have rather roll the dice on C. Fells off the summer leauge squad. Who i think can do everything Salmons will do and could have done it better and would have been cheaper. But in Dell i TRUST!!! #Byrdgang

  14. TristanBisnezzWilliams

    July 18, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    What is with the love fest with CDR? Dude is mediocre at best. Rather give that shot to Darius.

  15. Pelican Poster

    July 18, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    jmbell7 bpec12 I think Miller will start when we play against teams with exceptional offensive players at the 3…

  16. jmbell7

    July 19, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    TristanBisnezzWilliams Love fest with CDR?

  17. Em Gee

    July 31, 2014 at 10:23 am

    have watched almost all of Fredette’s games for the past four years. He was
    simply abused in Sacdemento by Two hapless coaches who obviously had personal
    issues with Fredette.  They  lied repeatedly about getting Fredette
    more playing time on their sorry team . Despite the fact that Fredette had some
    of the best per minute stats in the NBA he sat and sat and sat…
    SCORES and scores of times Fredette would come off of the bench and light it
    up..Scoring 10, 12 15 points in a quarter or less only to be benched for the
    rest of the game .Video tape doesn’t lie Fredette is not just a Great 3pT
    shooter , he is a scoring FREAK. He can do it from anywhere on the court . He
    drives to the hoop as easily as he did in college,  Is an Excellent passer
    and facilitator  and he Creates his own shot as well as anyone in the game
    watch this video of Fredette toying with NBA defenders ..10 mins of Fredette
    scorching NBA defenders:
    watch his highlights against  the Sixers, Cavs, Bucks, Timberwolves,
    Knicks 2X, Rockets, Lakers and Clippers.
    is a great athlete and Defense is something he will improve upon.( last year 65
    Other NBA players played worse defense than Fredette) .

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