It Begins

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Published: August 27, 2017

The Pelicans’ long standing offseason ritual of offering a would-be starter up as a sacrifice to the basketball gods found its latest lamb, and while offerings in recent years haven’t won the gods’ favor, hope still remains that they shall one day look down upon New Orleans basketball sufferings and answer the many cries for help.

The ritual signals the real return of the churn, the period in the Pelicans’ yearly life cycle where unexpected drought forces the team to scavenge for value amongst the vast expanse of bargain barrels. They have already caught Darius Miller. The now potential replacement-starter honed his game in Germany, but whether it will transition back to the NBA remains to be seen. During his first stint in the league, his passiveness on the offensive end and inconsistency on the defensive end pushed him to the end of the bench and then out of the league. Quincy Pondexter might return, but there are even bigger questions surrounding him than Miller, like can he get on the court, and can he stay on the court. Other possible replacement-starter E’Twaun Moore, when paired with Holiday, might have the length and strength to challenge some wing players throughout the league, but the churn will have to fill in the gap for the rest.

This yearly adventure of searching for sustenance to get the Pels bye is mostly reduced to kicking rocks, but it has produced some vital pieces for the team in years past. The 2014-15 season started with Austin Rivers, John Salmons, Jimmer Fredette, Luke Babbit, Darius Miller, and Jeff Withey all on the 2nd unit. It ended with Norris Cole, Quincy Pondexter, and Dante Cunningham taking over the bench for a playoff team. Gustavo Ayon comes to mind from a few cycles back. His discovery netted the Pels Ryan Anderson (who now makes 20mil/yr).

Left with no other fishing options the Pelicans must resort to finding useable scraps if they want to survive the year. This isn’t new to the Pelicans. The scavenging has been a part of life every year since stepping out into the world. They have yet to stumble on mana from heaven, or an oasis in the desert, but there is always that hope. Pelicans, as we all know, do have two strong engines to keep them going: their respiratory and circulatory systems. Indeed these two make the Pelicans into quite the athletic force, but the world is harsh and unforgiving to all these days.

Get well soon Solo.

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