The New Orleans Pelicans, who finished with a 30-52 record last season, are done retooling their roster and are prepared for a fresh season with a healthy Anthony Davis, per a source.
Davis, one of the best players in the league, missed 21 games last season with a left knee injury and later a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The superstar forward is expecting the team to return to the playoffs after the front office added interesting pieces this offseason.
The Pelicans have acquired free agents Alonzo Gee, Langston Galloway, Solomon Hill, Terrence Jones and E’Twaun Moore this summer, besides drafting Buddy Hield with the No. 6 pick in the draft. The Pelicans also traded for Cheick Diallo, who drafted No. 33 overall by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Once all the contracts are inked, the Pelicans will have 15 players on the roster unless they delegate a player or two to the developmental league. According to ESPN’s Mark Stein, rookie Diallo and the Pelicans have agreed to a three-year contract.
Lakers Rumors: LA Has An ‘Unnamed Trade Target In Mind’
Pelicans enter new era
The Pelicans still have some concerns about Tyreke Evans’ health. The veteran forward isn’t expected to start the new season as he continues to recover from the arthroscopic surgery he had in the summer to eliminate loose particles from his right knee.
New Orleans also lost Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson in free agency. They are expected to roll with a starting back court of Holiday and Galloway with Dante Cunningham, Davis and Omer Asik expected to fill out the front court. On paper, that team doesn’t sound like a playoff contender. But it’s not hard to rule out Davis carrying the team on his shoulders, the way he did few seasons back.
According to the Ringer, Davis is now surrounded by a good supporting cast. “They changed course this summer. Rather than chase big names to replace Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson, who both signed with the Rockets under contracts worth $133 million in total, they maintained their flexibility and signed a bunch of younger players to smaller deals,” writes Jonathan Tjarks.
Tjarks noted that Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry wants to instil a new brand of basketball that would be predicated on spacing and ball movement. “The new-look Pelicans, in accordance to league trends, want players who can defend, space the floor, and move the ball. They want talent with upside who can grow with Davis.”
Can Anthony Davis carry the New Orleans Pelicans to the playoffs next season?