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New Orleans Pelicans

2013-14 record: 34-48

Fifth place, Southwest Division

Did not qualify for playoffs

2014 Draft Picks: No Draft Picks

Draft Overview

TRADE 1: New Orleans Pelicans acquire No. 47 pick Russ Smith from Philadelphia in exchange for the rights to Pierre Jackson.
 

Pre-Draft Analysis
 

Areas of strength

Anthony Davis took a quantum leap forward in his second NBA season and first where coach Monty Williams took reins off him.  With his work as a scorer, rebounder and mind-boggling shot-blocker, Davis should be a strong contender in the MVP race for years to come.  Ryan Anderson was injured much of last season, but is a perfect complement to Davis up front.

 

Needs work

The Pelicans seemed to go into last season believing that they could solve their problems in the backcourt with sheer numbers, trying to juggle Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans with the struggling young Austin Rivers.  Turned out Holiday missed a bunch of games due to injury and the rest of the scene was never comfortable or settled.  The front office has got to make a decision starting weeding out the backcourt.

 

Two stats that matter

110.1 -- It’s their defensive rating.  Yes, they had injuries that prevented the Pelicans from having a consistent rotation up front.  But they’re coming off another season where the defensive-minded coach Williams has a team ranked near the bottom of the league, 27th to be exact.

 

76 -- That’s the number of games missed last season by the three-headed guard line of Gordon, Evans and Holiday.

 

 

The way to go

It goes without saying that the Pelicans have got to cut loose one of their guards and maybe parlay him into a big man who could really help Davis up on the front line.  It’s clear by now that 2010 No. 8 overall pick Al-Farouq Aminu is nothing more than a role player, at best.  A real nice fit would be Louisiana native and free agent Greg Monroe to bring some punch inside.

 

2013-14 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive:
107.2 (13)
Defensive: 110.1 (27)

 

 

Under contract
 

F: Anthony Davis
F: Ryan Anderson
G: Eric Gordon
G: Tyreke Evans
G: Jrue Holiday
G: Austin Rivers
G: Anthony Morrow
F: Darius Miller
G: Brian Roberts
C: Alexis Ajinca
C: Jeff Withey
F: Luke Babbit

 

Free agents

F: Al-Farouq Aminu
F: Jason Smith
F: James Southerland

 

Recent draft history

2013: Nerlens Noel (6), traded to 76ers
2012: Anthony Davis (1), Austin Rivers (10), Darius Miller (46)
2011: Josh Harrellson (45)
2010: Cole Aldrich (11)
2009: Darren Collison (21)


 

--  Fran Blinebury

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