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NLL Insider - Team by Team: New Orleans Pelicans

by Nenjabin, updated on Monday, October 09 2017, 09:08 pm EST

2016-17 Finish: 34-48

Season Highlight:

There really wasn’t a lot to get excited about in New Orleans this season, but anytime you move out your underachieving GM and bring in some fresh blood with a new outlook and way of doing things it ha to be a positive, right? The old management had made some curious calls and the direction seemed flawed, and already the direction of the new management at least seems consistent. It’s a bit of a mess in New Orleans, but their GM is keen and active and willing to go forward.


Season Lowlight:

Touched upon already, but the old management seemed to lack a direction with any sort of clarity. He started the season with a decent roster of active and productive vets surrounded by a nice bunch of youth and enthusiasm, with some decent stashed talent in the locker also. Realistically the playoffs weren’t going to be an option and you build around the guys like TJ Warren, Timothe Luwawu, Nemanja Bjelica, with younger vets under contract like Markieff Morris, but somewhere along the way the old GM thought he could turn these decent upside assets into similar or worse older players and make a run at the playoffs, in the process gutting the team and going old and minimally young, while performing just as worse on the court and going nowhere.


Best Trade:

Holy crap…literally. Well it was easily a move of the new GM that got this nod. There’s a couple to choose from but we’ll go with the simple one.

Pels Send: Jahlil Okafor
Pels get: Reggie Jackson and Sac 1st

Now we’re talking! Sure Jahlil is young, but he’s looking fairly out of place in the league and Reggie is established and under contract, plus a 1st. Winning.

Worst Trade:

Ok back to the old GM.

Pels Send: TJ Warren
Pels get: Trevor Ariza

Ok so there’s not really that much wrong with Ariza in theory, but why if you’re a rebuilding, non-playoff team, do you move a high upside young talent like Warren who will be with your team for years, for an older player on the downside of his career, at the same position and pretty much similar level? Maybe if you were getting a guy in who was going to be a clear upgrade and win getter.


Other Notable Trades:

Pels Send:

Pels Send: Marco Belinelli
Pels get: Denver 2017 1st

Ok not a bad deal, but completely contrary to the previous deal made…the Ariza/Warren deal.

Pels Send: Darren Collison
Pels get: Isaiah Canaan and Matt Barnes

Yuh huh…sure Collison was a rental but still…

Pels Send: Matt Barnes, Nemanja Bjelica and New Orleans 2nd
Pels get: Jeremy Lin

Wait…trade a rental solid PG in Collison for not a whole lot, so you need to get a solid PG back in and you get a rental back for one of the same assets in the Collison deal, and a couple of other assets out the door.

Pels Send: Markieff Morris, Timothe Luwawu and Jonas Jerebko
Pels get: Alex Len, Kent Bazemore and Chinanu Onuaku

Much of a muchness but that salary hit.

Pels Send: Jared Sullinger, Cheick Diallo and Ron Baker
Pels get: Vince Carter, Marcus Morris and Sac 2nd

This is a winner right here with Diallo being the possible main loss, with an overpay on Baker happening, while getting a productive Carter and a solid Morris to further move on.

New GM comes on in and…

Pels Send: Trevor Ariza and AJ Hammons (whom old GM traded 25 GMs for)
Pels get: Patrick Patterson and mid 40s 2nd

Bit of a swing for Patterson to return, but got a chance to make the team more his own with a pick for himself.

Pels Send: Marcus Morris
Pels get: Cory Joseph and Indiana 2nd

It’s not flashy, but these types of moves are exactly what a team looking to come back from a mess need.


Free Agency:

The Pels weren’t very active in FA choosing to dump their entire point hit to bring back Chandler Parsons who was their big point acquisition the year before. The 198 point man. He’s still in town, he owes NO something! They matched Jared Sullinger’s offer sheet, signed Jonas Jerebko and Anthony Morrow, just to release Morrow a month or so later.



He’s no longer in town and he’s had some major question marks thrown at him, but you can’t go past what Jahlil Okafor did as a sophomore in New Orleans last season, even if he only played 53 games. He dropped 18.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.2 blocks on 51% shooting. He stood out on a roster that was in such flux despite the best efforts of Brandon Knight to put up a solid season before going down with injury again.



The 198 point man, on $23 million a year played only 38 games and didn’t really do a whole lot in those games he did play. 12.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and only 68% from the line. When you’re being paid to be the teams Lebron/Durant and treated as such in the desperation to keep you, you really need to put up some production and help your team win games. Parsons has a lot of work to do to not be back here in the Goat section next season.


Draft Grades (from the draft insiders):

Round 1:  None

Round 2:  Dwayne Bacon @ Pick 40, Tyler Dorsey @ Pick 43, Jaron Blossomgame @ Pick 45, Thomas Bryant @ Pick 47

Grade:  B (Nenjabin), C (Merencio)


The Future:

The Pels have new guidance and a new direction with the new GM and moves are being made for the future. They have a couple of not-so-old solid vets in Jackson, Knight, Joseph and Parsons (he’s still solid) with the need to bring back young big man Alex Len. Onuaku and Leaf look like decent young prospects also and their 2nd rounders could be anything. They’ll need to fill out the roster a little somehow, maybe via a trade for extra bodies, or target some specific guys in free agency. Overall, their future is in flux but trending up.


Upcoming Free Agents:

Alex Len: RFA – Likely to take the QO.

Tony Allen: UFA – No hope of returning.

Patrick Patterson: UFA – Another that’s goneski.

  Comments (2) 
10/10 04:28 am
Pels have a great GM. Good times ahead!
10/09 09:18 pm
Nice work. Reggie/okafor was straight up, first was from a previous deal.


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