Weakside Eyes: New Orleans Pelicans 2013 Offseason Changes

Anderson for Asik Rumors

Would I do the Ryan Anderson for the Houston Rocket’s Omer Asik trade if I could? Yes, I would. Many, when looking at this deal, simply address the offensive side of the floor, as Anderson is a “stretch 4” who can shoot the ball . . . . What is being missed here is the answer to the question: “Who will rebound the missed shots?”

The Hornets were ranked #27 in the NBA in total defensive rebounds . . . they lack a center . . . the combination of Davis alongside Asik makes for a very nice defensive line. And let’s face it: the Pelicans need some rim protection . . . Asik can defend pick and rolls . . . help protect the lane/rim . . . rebound the ball defensively . . . improve your team defense. Yes, I know his free throw shooting needs a little work. Plus, Anderson cannot defend. “You are what your record says you are” . . . the Pelicans need a defensive upgrade at the center of their defense.

Maybe there won’t be a deal . . . but if I could make it . . . BINGO.

Holiday and Evans

The Hornets were ranked #26 in free throw attempts last season . . . both of these players can get to the lane/rim. Their off the dribble / change of direction game will improve that stat . . . .

The Hornets were ranked #24 in field goals made and #26 in field goal attempts . . . both of these players will increase your open floor chances and scoring from the guard / wing positions. It can also give you a scoring guard to come off the bench, thus giving you healthy depth.

The Hornets were ranked #22 in 3-point shot attempts and 19th in the total makes . . . both are capable enough 3-ballers. Again, their ability to create on their own is a vital need.

They will also help improve the overall pace of the game . . . the Hornets ranked last in number of possessions.

Eric Gordon

We all know he can play and score . . . flanking him with added quickness at the guard spot will only make things more playful for him . . . he can flourish with the added quickness that’s been added to the team. The Playoffs taught everyone, yet again, the need for having “escape game” players. Gordon, like Evans and Holiday, gives you much improved perimeter play that can force defensive rotations . . .

You Are What Your Record Says You Are

Talk about all the rebounding rates you want for Lopez, or + and – grades of anyone, your record tells you that you have work to do. The Pelicans need talent on the offensive end, and they need to improve their front line. They were not a very good jump shooting team (under 40 %). The Pelicans must go beyond their previous abilities.

Lots of Oomph, No Results

That sums up the Hornets last season: lots of effort but not enough results. Don’t confuse effort with winning. You want talent that creates activity that gives you results . . . you don’t win without talent. The Pelicans needed talent, and so far they are attacking that requirement. There is no room to emotionally attach yourself to a player that does not help you win. You have to know when to walk away from a player and walk towards a new one . . .

“What does not move is dead. What has speed and mobility has more possibilities, more life”

Gerry V is a 21-year NBA analyst, 17-year talk radio host, a 16-year coach, and current anchor for “Fox 8 New Orleans Morning Edition”, 5 a.m. – 9 a.m. and “Fox 8 News at Noon.” Follow Gerry V on twitter (@GVTalk).

39 responses to “Weakside Eyes: New Orleans Pelicans 2013 Offseason Changes”

    • you know the Pelicans were one of the worst teams in the league attempting and making 3’s?…not enough taken….plus defense was #16 in efficiency…..slow rotations..too many mistakes…need quick tootsies to rotate to the ball….you watch them rain 3’s all day…and get back to me on how the defense did….and by the way…i love you as well  grins from V

  1. I disagree emphatically with everything you typed mainly because the statistical analysis you use to back up your opinions are nearly a decade out dated.  New Orleans had the 8th highest defensive rebounding rate and 6th highest offensive rebounding rate, so no rebounding is not one of our big needs.

    • SilentJay321 that´s a good point, the numbers are low b/c the pace, but with old or “new” stats the team was horribly bad in defense last year, average in offense, but the question is: w/o GV and Lopez with Jrue Reke and i hope Gordon, with a better(with more help for god´s sake) AD Withey and Rivers, can we get an average defense? top 10 offense? if this team can transform in that, they will be a PO team with a very high top.
      My real concern is if AD and Ryno can play together at times, b/c if they can´t, Ryno´s minute will need to be lower, and that´s not good for the team

      • soulbreaker SilentJay321 “My real concern is if AD and Ryno can play together at times, b/c if they can´t, Ryno´s minute will need to be lower, and that´s not good for the team”
        I have a Ph.D. in Mathematics and an area of research is statistics. Hear me when i say: “Stats are limited.”

      • Jason Calmes soulbreaker SilentJay321 PH.D in math? my heroe!! that´s very cool haha
        I know the stats´ stories have limits, but i saw a lot of games last year, and the defense with people like Lopez,GV and Anderson(and Gordon) can´t be good, i´m not give AD or Ryno all the responsibility for that, now they will play with a potentially good to great wing defender(Holiday), and defensive centers in Stiegsma and Withey.
        But, with the players the team had last year was impossible to hide ryno´s defense and put too much pressure in AD´s defense, next season we can watch them with a lot better wing defenders, and just for that thye will be better

      • Jason Calmes soulbreaker SilentJay321 plus when Davis and Anderson were on the floor together the overall team defense tended to get cuddly soft….Davis still in the learning process when it comes to “where to be and when and how to get there”…Anderson is simply an average to ” woah! what just happened defender”…but he can shoot it.

    • yeah ok..outdated……how many games did they win?…..how many shots did they make?….RATES can be misleading my friend….FG% can fool you as well…..call me back when your ready for the varsity level……of course i say that with love and a giggle…..i want guys that can ‘go get the ball.” Asik is better than Lopez…….

      • GerryV  I’m not convinced by this response pal.  @SilentJay321 makes sense to me – you can only get a rebound when someone takes a shot.  If you play so slow that both teams take fewer shots (maybe because Vasquez spends 20 minutes a night trying to use his dribble to pound a loose nail into the floor right past center court), then you will get less total rebounds. If the reason for the deal is to fix rebounding, then I need to be convinced that rebounding is the problem.  So how are the rates misleading in this case?
        Also, do you consider the fact that in trading Ryno to Houston, you are providing the “missing piece” to an already stacked lineup in your division?  The road to the NBA finals is going to go through Houston for the next few years….

      • LateNite504FC GerryV comparing the basketball talent between the two players…you can’t just use rate% etc…..Asik is a better player than Lopez…it upgrades your team if the deal did happen….stick with me kid i’ll get you through the storm…..

  2. Gerry, I have to say that I half-way agree with your assessment on the Anderon/Asik trade proposal.  There is no doubt that Asik will bring a solid defensive and rebounding presence to the Pelicans, both of which we could use more of.  So from that vantage point, although it’s a close call, I would be willing to give up a great 3 point shooter for a great rebounder and rim protector simply because I think the benefit on the defensive end would outweigh the loss on the offensive end.  Yes, Anderson can stretch the floor, and does have what is likely the quickest release in the game today.  However, when you look at the influx of offensive talent we’ve had this offseason, I am just not sure we will be that desperate for offensive production, from behind or in front of the arc.  
    But you failed to mention any consideration of the potential ramifications of taking on Asik’s contract, which is where I take issue with the trade proposal.  Asik is due just under $15M in the 2014/15 season.  That figure would effectively tie Demps to the chair in the near future, which given his prior affinity for flexibility, is a position that I just can’t see him imposing on himself.  With that said, I wouldn’t take the deal unless we could get Parsons in addition to Asik, and have Asik resign and restructure. In my opinion, we have all of the leverage.  Morey thought he was clever when he designed these “poison pill” contracts with Lin and Asik, but at this point the only team he’s poisoned is his own, as a trade for both players is not only necessary at some point, but would also require Houston to come out on the losing side of the deal as a basic principle.  Morey will have to face the music at some point, and I would love to be the first person to serenade a division rival.

    • wjb Actually, while Asik will be paid $5m, then $15, his cap figure is around $8.3m in both years. Weird, but true. 
      So while the ownership may balk, both players affect the cap about equally, and Asik’s deal is shorter, for better or worse.

      • Jason Calmes wjb That cap figure construction is definitely odd.  Thanks for that info, Jason.  With that said, I wouldn’t take the deal straight up.  I think we may be in a position to clear cap space in at the trade deadline, and then chase a Center on our own terms in 2014, while still keeping Anderson.  Not to mention, Asik’s discontent with the backup position keeps the pressure on Morey in the meantime, so I get the feeling Asik will be moved to someone at some point.

    • Potential ramifications of a contract? deal is not that bad….protect the rim and lane….remember the ‘no hand check rule’ makes it easier for guards to attack your interior….you better have a decent 2nd line of defense…..as Davis improves he’ll be able to extend his defense…
      ‘your defense in the NBA is only as good as your rotating defenders”

  3. So the benefit of having Asik is 1) rebounding and 2) rim protector. But didn’t AD come into the league as a potential shot blocking rim protector? Doesn’t he still have the potential to alter shots with his length and the quickness to guard against the pick and roll and help on the weakside?  He may not have the gerth to be a center but I think he has the toughness and more strength will come with time.  IMO we have our future rim protector on the roster already.  Also, are defense was bad b/c our perimeter def was AWFUL! Asik will not help our perimeter defense at all and we have already invested heavily to improve this area.
    Also, ryno is a good offensive rebounder and ok on the defense boards.  His defensive rebounding is not as good b/c he shoots the 3 but we have aminu to play the “4” on offense.  The rebounding numbers look bad based on lopez being a terrible rebounder (see silentjay321 stats below).  I believe having smith in the game and AD getting more minutes will be an upgrade for our rebounding.
    Simply put, it is not worth giving up a stretch 4 on a great contract that is coming into his prime that gives are super athletic guards spacing to do their thing for a center that will limit the offense and not be able to play in crunch time (given his awful ft shooting and inability to guard more than one position).  Its a no go for me!
    That being said, we do still need one more piece at the center position… Cheap vet for the short term and look for upgrades as they come but don’t force a deal and lose a key piece of the puzzle.

    • Davis needs help as his quick feet will allow him to roam and float….remember many times its  the ‘2nd rotation that seals the defensive possession” help the helper….if you want to improve a position you may have to give up an asset…….

      • GerryV  You usually do need to give up an asset.  But then again, with Dell in charge, we got Anderson out of nothing! (via ayon via cheap FA)
        I’m not 100% against trading Anderson, but I also think there isn’t any rush to force an upgrade to the center position.  Patience is key (in my opinion) in this situation.

  4. No way I would trade Ryan Anderson for Omer Asik straight up, they would have to send Chandler Parsons along with Asik for me to even entertain the idea. I do want Asik though, so how about we give them Jason Smith and Al-Farouq Aminu and cash for Omer Asik. They get a backup SF who rebounds and defends as well as J-Smitty to be there 3rd big. Jason Smith alongside Dwight Howard gives them a great inside outside game when they go big. They lose some rebounding but Dwight gets 12+ a game and there are only so many rebounds to go around. We get a LEGIT Center to defend and rebound at a much higher level than Lopez ever could, and with J-Smitty gone we can spread his mins between Davis Anderson Asik and Withey. Now the only hole is SF and Brewer is still out there. Or we could have Evans Miller and Thomas man the position until we find a replacement. Then we find a suitor for Eric Gordon and we free up 45 mill over the next 3 years with no glaring weakness on our roster except possibly the SF spot. 
    BTW I LOVE the Anthony Morrow pickup. Especially if we can get rid of Gordon and his huge contract, as that would allow us to start Tyreke Evans at SG, and give Austin Rivers (who I’m still high on) and Morrow more minutes. Can you imagine a second unit of Robberts, Rivers, Morrow/Miller, Anderson, and Withey. The drive and dish combo of Rivers, Morrow, and Anderson alone makes me salivate.

    • Blah blah on the Cap space story…lets deal with talent….you have ” to give to get” when dealing with a talented transaction…..Morrow is purely a shooter…which i like the idea…and thomas is now gone…..your observation about the 2nd unit is spot on! never ignore the strength of your 6th,7th and 8th man…even a 9th who can do one thing well…..regards from V

  5. hello 2 all my pelican fans. i would trade Anderson n Aminu for Asik n Parsons. we need a legit center n a legit s/f!! if we cant get it done we can try something else. trade Gordon 2 indiana for Granger n pick up Dalembert for cheap. indiana needs a s/g n we need a s/f. if indiana would of had Gordon instead of Stevenson they would of easily been in the finals. with George on the rise they dont need Granger (they play the same position). also Gordon is a indiana hometown hero. both teams will get their needs n also will be trading out of their conferences.

    • need a a big to help Davis..need a big to defend vs pick and rolls…need a big to help patrol the lane and “off the ball’…..Asik is better than Lopez….find me a BANGER!

  6. plan A-
    c-Asik p/f-Davis s/f-Evans s/g-Gordon p/g-Holiday
    plan B-
    c-Dalembert pf-Davis s/f-Granger s/g- Evans p/g Holiday

  7. Gerry V:  Who will rebound the shots Anderson misses?

    Caffeinedisaster:  Brow/Aminu………when he ACTUALLY misses.

    • Always remember..’games are won while the ball is n the air” guards will bound…gang rebounding when going small ball…..roster still has time to be improved…..they need a BIG…they are not finished…..

      • GerryV I don’t believe Dell is finished by a long shot.  After all, the moratorium has been lifted today.  The Morrow addition was nice, but I fear it makes Anderson more expendable.  I was looking forward to seeing Tyreke’s penetration lead to more looks for him.
        We do need another big, but I don’t think it should be at the expense of one of our best players.  I say we bring in Jefferson, Brand, Dalembert or Collins.  They may also be cheaper.

  8. In regards to Gordon/Holiday/Evans I am concerned more about how each one will play OFF the ball, being that they all can handle the ball/set up the offense.

    • Pelicans want more “open play” situations…had to run too many setups last year….random plays will  increase along with some enchanced ‘quick hitter” moments….off the ball will evolve..”players will move and wrok hard to get open” if they know they will recieve the pass…all three enjoy chucking the SCORING PASS……sweetness!….thanks for the comment

  9. “You are what your record says you are” – actually no, not in this case
    Our priorities last year were developing players / assets, giving the young kids reps, teaching, assessing who could give minutes in the rotation after the rebuild phase, ( should I add attain a high draft pick), all of which are antithetical to putting wins on the board, which had a near zero priority last year.
    Per Tom benson, those priorities have shifted nearly 100% so it’s not necessarily fair to post expectations for this team on last years record given the context

    • sorry my friend but you missed the point…”record tells it all’ its a bottom line league..it tells you what your talent level is and where you need to go…so the comment is right on…..its the indicator that reveals what you lack and what you need to do…..thanks for the response..

  10. I want you to know i didn’t edit anyone who disagreed with me…..checking to see where those post went….

  11. Well im excited its been since the 07-08 season since i have been this excited, Demps has done his job, players just gotta play now.

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