Reasons To Be Excited About Training Camp: No. 7 Youth
No. 7: Youth
In general, when an NBA franchise makes roster moves to immediately field a better team, it almost always means adding proven veteran players who’ve entered the prime of their careers or on the downswing. For example, the Brooklyn Nets hope they’ve made the leap this summer from playoff team to championship contender by acquiring the likes of 36-year-old Kevin Garnett and 35-year-olds Paul Pierce and Jason Terry.
That’s what makes New Orleans’ 2013 offseason so unique. The Pelicans – already the second-youngest team in the NBA last season – managed to land a pair of 23-year-olds in Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans whose best basketball is ahead of them (Evans turned 24 on Sept. 19). Much of the team’s core is similarly youthful, including Anthony Davis, 20; Austin Rivers, 21; Al-Farouq Aminu, 23; Eric Gordon, 24; and Ryan Anderson, 25.
Although the Pelicans may not compete for a championship in 2014, one of the most promising aspects of GM Dell Demps’ roster plan is that many of the team’s players should continually improve as they mature and gain experience. Various national NBA analysts are predicting that New Orleans will be one of the league’s most improved teams in 2013-14, but given the way the Pelicans are constructed, that progress should also continue well beyond just the upcoming season.