NBA Rumors: Pelicans Still Unsure About Starting Center
New Orleans Pelicans are torn between Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca as the starting center ahead of the new season, according to several reports.Advertisement
With Anthony Davis moving back to the Power Forward spot, coach Alvin Gentry has a decision to make between Asik and Ajinca.
Both centers have seen minutes with the starting unit during the ongoing preseason.
During Tuesday’s game, Asik got the nod as the starter but Gentry has yet to make a decision.
“I think it’s always good, and both of those guys are going to play (as starters),” the Pelicans coach told The Times-Picayune.
“There’s going to be situations where one plays a lot one night, and then the next night, the other may play more minutes –depending on the type of team we’re playing and what we’re looking (for),” added Gentry.
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Pelicans looking for trades?
Earlier in the summer, there were several reports that Pelicans were looking to move Asik’s contract which still has four years and $48 million left on it.
According to RealGM, Asik’s contract has the least trade value in the entire league and it seems like the Pelcians have no choice but to hold onto the Turkish big man.
After signing a five-year, $58 million deal last offseason, Asik hasn’t lived up to the contract.
“My whole focus this summer was to get better,” said the center.
“I’m much better on defense than last year so that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to help on offense, too, in setting picks and help making guys get open and get offensive rebounds,” added Asik.
There’s another school of thought that Gentry should be starting Anthony Davis as center and allowing more floor spacing with a stretch 4 on the court at all times.
However, it seems like Gentry is insistent on Davis starting at the 4.
The New Orleans Pelicans, who missed the playoffs last season, will begin their 2016-17 campaign against the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 26.