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Afternoon Roundup: Davis, Gordon, A New Player, and More

Published: April 10, 2014

Couple of Pelicans related stories with just less than a week to go in the season.

Davis and Gordon Done for the Season

The Pelicans have shut down both Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon for the final four games of the season. Davis is still having issues with back spasms, but nothing to worry about here long-term in all likelihood. Just requires a little rest and he should be fine. Expect him to be 100% well before Team USA training camp.

Gordon, on the other hand, will have another surgery. He will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. It should be noted that this is not the same knee he has had troubles with the last three years. It is a fairly common procedure that usually requires a 4-6 week recovery time, so it won’t effect next season, but it will probably make moving him this summer impossible (if it wasn’t already).

Another Shooter Added

To help fill out the roster for these final four games, the Pelicans will sign James Southerland for the rest of the season. They can do this without releasing anybody because the exception that the Pelicans got from the NBA for the Ryno injury also allows them an extra roster spot.

Southerland is a shooter and nothing but a shooter. In his final season at Syracuse, 214 of the 280 shots he took in his half court possessions were jumpers. He took more than 6 three’s per game and shot 40% from deep. He couldn’t quite find his range in the D-League this year, shooting just over 42% from deep, but he is a nice prospect to get a look at, as he is incredibly long as well – 7’1″ wingspan. This is a Spurs-like move; find a fringe prospect who is known for his shooting and see if you can get a specialist on the cheap. Spurs did this exact thing with Gary Neal and Danny Green. Not saying Pelicans get that lucky, but it’s worth a try.

Need A Center?

The Rockets waived Center Greg Smith today, and teams have 48 hours to put in a waiver claim. Smith is out for the rest of the year, but the team who claims him will have the opportunity to give him a $1.15 million qualifying offer to become a restricted free agent and would also have his Bird Rights.

Smith is an energy guy on the offensive end who does well on the pick and roll and in transition. He also is very good at crashing the offensive glass and finishing after he grabs the board. But it is on the defensive end that the Pelicans might have some interest. Yes, he does foul a lot (though not as much as Da Steamer or Ajinca), but he has the strength to bang with the big boys. I watched a lot of clips with him defending Cousins and Z-Bo these past two years and he pushes those guys out 4 or 5 feet further than anybody currently on this team does. Wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to have Jason Smith, Ajinca, Withey, and Smith all battling for minutes at center when AD isn’t there. That 4-man center by committee would only cost about $5 million and would give Monty a bevy of options not named Stiemsma. Then, Dell can concentrate on a SF in free agency.

The Pelicans can put a claim in on Smith and still not get him. If multiple teams put in a claim, it is the team with the worst record that gets him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a smart team like Philly or Boston put in a claim. Would be nice if the Pels get him, however.

In the NO

Next podcast will tape on Sunday. Sorry we did not have one last week, but I took a much need vacation. Back to it this weekend!


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