What Everybody is Saying and Nobody is Talking About


Everybody was saying that Hillary was a shoe-in just a week ago, but nobody was talking about how similar polls had projected Hillary to beat Bernie in some of the key states, and she ended up losing states like Michigan despite what the “projections” said. But guess what? Everybody started saying that as soon as Trump pulled surprisingly victories in those same states! Isn’t it funny how everybody gets so smart after the fact?

Similarly, I told you all last week that the Pelicans defense was not the top-10 defense that the numbers said they were. Now, everybody is saying the same thing just four games later as the defense has fallen into the bottom half of the league. My favorite thing about this stupid ‘Everybody/Nobody’ thing is how the everybody’s become the nobody’s and the nobody’s become the everybody’s. As Harvey Dent might say, “Either you die the Everybody, or you live long enough to see yourself become the Nobody.’

What Everybody is Saying

2nd Round Picks Have Great Value

Proof: Message Boards (A second could help you unload Asik; A second could turn Ajinca into Cauley-Stein)

Look, I get that a first round pick is a lot to give up, and that the Pelicans don’t really have any player assets to move for a quality guy, but those two facts don’t all of a sudden make a second round pick more valuable than they are. A second round pick, even a high one, can be bought for 1.5 – 2 million dollars. It has an 8% chance of producing a better than average player.  So, given those objective numbers, why in the world would a team take on Omer Asik’s 30+ million dollar contract for an asset they can buy for 2 million? If you took two million dollars of the total of Asik’s deal, would he all of a sudden become a hot commodity?

And on the idea of Ajinca and a 2nd for a player like Willie Cauley-Stein, why would the Kings take on a bad contract and give away a young player for an 8% chance that they might find someone better? Again, I totally understand that we all WANT those picks to be valuable, but honestly, it is time to set sights way lower than what everyone is talking about thus far.

Tim Frazier’s Stats Show He Can Play

Proof:

Going into last night, Frazier was putting up 15 & 10 per 36 and was shooting extremely well from the field (48%) and from three (40%). On paper, he looks like a mid-tier starting point guard, and a guy who should still be a key part of this team when Jrue gets back. I have even seen him mentioned as a possible starter next to Jrue.

Slow down, people.

I love stats as much as anyone, but you have to combine them with the eye test, and it is clear that Frazier is simply outmatched in most/all games. Defensively, the Pelicans try to hide him but teams have made it a priority to find him and punish him in numerous ways. Offensively, he is good in space, but once the lane clogs up he gets himself in trouble with some ugly turnovers.

Frazier’s simple stats are good, his advanced numbers are good, the team’s offensive rating when he is on the floor is great. But he is not a starting NBA player, and truth be told, he is probably just an average backup. Which is still worth more than the two million they are paying him, but let’s pull back on the Tim Frazier needs to start next to Holiday talk please.

Solomon Hill’s Intangibles Are Invaluable

Proof:

Hooray! Solomon Hill likes to speak up and tell everybody what is wrong with this team. He is good with the media and is even willing to come off the bench if the matches dictate it. Wow, what a great guy! But despite all those fantastic intangibles, fifty million should buy you some tangibles too, and there is no regular rotation player in the NBA who has scored less. He does nothing at an average or above average level in the box score and his defense isn’t anything to write home about either. Remember that game winning dunk Phoenix had against us? Solomon Hill, baby!

But he’s a nice guy, is frank with the media, and is willing to call his teammates out. I’m sure they love that, coming from a guy who is playing like absolute trash. 50 million dollar trash at that. Call him the Mugatu Collection.

What Nobody is Talking About

A Holiday/Moore/Hield Starting Trio

Proof: H & M yields over 100 million results on Google. H & M & H yields no relevant results.

Why not start games with these three, AD, and Asik. As I have said before, you need four shooters that teams have to respect whenever Asik is on the court, and Buddy simply makes more sense than Hill or Cunningham. Can he guard small forward’s? No, but can anybody on this team. Holiday and Moore are both good perimeter defenders and Davis/Asik are the best this team has to offer on the interior. Meanwhile, offensively, that unit gives you enough playmaking, ball handling, and shooting to offset the flaws of Asik. That should be the starting, and maybe even the finishing, lineup.

The Pelicans Need a D-League Team… Now!

Proof: Googling Pelicans D-League returns a box score for the summer league games when New Orleans played (and were defeated by) the D-League Select team

Cheick Diallo was sent to the Austin Spurs this week, in large part because the Pelicans brass knows and trusts their staff more than any other. But the Pelicans are still one of the handful of teams that does not have their own affiliate. That needs to change. Fast.

The Pelicans can could very well have a top five or ten pick next summer, along with two very high second rounders. Add that to Diallo, who just turned twenty years old, and they could have as many as four guys in their developmental pipeline next season. It’s hard to imagine that this franchise will all of a sudden wake up and realize they should be in rebuild mold, so I can’t imagine them giving that many young guys major minutes. And sending guys to Europe to develop has the same problems as sending them to a D-League affiliate that is not under your control.

If the Pelicans really want to maximize these resources that could be the difference between Davis signing a third contract and demanding a trade well before that decision even comes up, they need to get their own affiliate immediately. The new CBA is actually encouraging teams to try and develop more young guys, by allowing two-way contracts and more roster spots. The Pelicans have to take full advantage of the situation they are in. Use all three picks. Heck, go get another one or an undrafted free agent that you really love and develop them under your own people in the D-League. It is the simplest path to putting top end talent around Davis. You have to develop it internally, because top end free agents aren’t dying to sign here right now.

Holiday’s Max Contract

Proof: Holiday and Max just gets you an article about Jrue Holiday by Max Rappaport

The Pelicans will have about 70 more games to determine whether Jrue Holiday is worth the enormous contract he is set to demand this offseason. A max contract for Holiday under the new cap would approach 5 years, $150 million from the team he is currently with. If he goes elsewhere, that number is around 4 years for $115. Looking at the teams with possible cap room and a need at point guard (Knicks, Bucks, Rockets, Pacers, T’Wolves, Sixers, and Jazz), it is hard to see Holiday getting less than $20 million per year if he stays relatively healthy and plays up to his normal level for the rest of the season.

But what do the Pelicans need to see, specifically, to feel comfortable with that level of commitment? You give Holiday that contract, and along with Davis, Asik, Solomon Hill, Buddy, and E’twaun Moore, your core is pretty much set because you won’t have much flexibility financially to do anything else significant. Would it make more sense to use that money for a Danillo Galinari or an Otto Porter, and use the draft pick on a point guard in a deep PG class? Or use the money to put a legit big like Serge Ibaka or Nerlens Noel next to AD?

People should start talking about whether the Pelicans should make a huge commitment to Holiday this summer, and that conversation should happen as we see Holiday play next to Davis for the remainder of the season. It looks like the leg issues are a thing of the past, and it is hard to imagine him missing more games in the future because of a fluke issue with his wife. Projecting his value into the future shouldn’t take on either of these factors. His future projected value should be based solely off his play. He will be turning 27 four weeks before he hits free agency, meaning he will still be in his prime. The way he plays over these final 70 games, and that play alone, will determine what kind of contract he deserves to be offered by the Pelicans.

 


One response to “What Everybody is Saying and Nobody is Talking About”

  1. Totally agree with your starting lineup idea. Buddy would benefit and max out his potential playing most of his minutes with AD & Jrue… and should obviously get better looks!
    I think Jrue will prove his worth and we will be shelling out that $$$ this summer for sure.

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