this is a discussion within the Pelicans Community Forum; In the days leading up to the NBA draft, the league is like a high school hallway&mdash;overflowing with all kinds of rumors and gossip. The New Orleans Pelicans haven&rsquo;t been linked to anything huge in recent weeks, and that&rsquo;s not ...
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|06-24-2015, 11:30 PM||#1|
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New Orleans Pelicans Rumors: Buying or Selling Gossip Ahead of 2015 NBA Draft
In the days leading up to the NBA draft, the league is like a high school hallway—overflowing with all kinds of rumors and gossip.
The New Orleans Pelicans haven’t been linked to anything huge in recent weeks, and that’s not surprising since the team is devoid of a first-round selection. While having No. 56 is better than nothing, new head coach Alvin Gentry doesn't seemed thrilled with it.
“I think it’s one of those deals where we have some guys in mind,” Gentry said on June 24, per Rod Walker of The New Orleans Advocate. “Obviously you look at all the scenarios that can happen and you think of maybe picking a foreign player. Fifty-six is not a number where you usually can get a lot of help.”
Walker wrote that the Pels will probably select a player relatively unknown to fans, but there’s a chance some solid prospects like Oregon’s Joseph Young or Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas could be available. Both would bring some value to the up-and-coming Pelicans.
It’s never that simple, though, is it? There always has to be some kind of drama. Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy thinks that will be the case Thursday night:
Let’s take a look at some rumors swirling around the bayou.
Pels Trying to Buy into Round 1
In addition to predicting “fireworks” on the eve of the draft, Kennedy also reported that the Pelicans could look to buy their way into Round 1:
It’s much easier to buy into Round 2 than Round 1, though, so general manger Dell Demps might be trying to run through a brick wall in this case.
Oleh Kosel, managing editor of SB Nation’s The Bird Writes, shut down this idea with a column on Wednesday.
Kosel looked back on Demps’ four-year history in New Orleans, which indicates that the GM is more than happy to send first-rounders packing in exchange for established talent. Demps kept and drafted in the first round just once when he took Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers in 2012.
Here’s more from Kosel:
Demps is taking advantage of what he believes to be a market inefficiency. Instead of drafting players who are normally not ready to play significant minutes for several seasons and with first round picks counting against the salary cap, he is more excited by the prospects of taking a chance on more developed talent, players who are more projectable after having better established their makeup. The best part: second round picks do not infringe on salary caps.For an older, cap room-deficient team like the Brooklyn Nets, finagling their way into a higher pick is important. But New Orleans is super young, so scratching and clawing into the first round isn’t a huge priority.
The average age of the Pelicans last year was 25.3, with 28-year-old Omer Asik being the elder statesmen of the bunch. Picking up a polished four-year player—even if he doesn't excite fans right away—is probably better than giving up assets to move up and then reaching on a hit-or-miss teenager.
Demps will surely explore all options, but it’d be surprising so see him get the Pels into the first 30 picks.
Gentry, Leandro Barbosa Could Reunite in NOLA
Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune penned a column on Wednesday that included the notion of Golden State Warriors reserve guard Leandro Barbosa following his former associate head coach to New Orleans.
The Brazilian Blur averaged 7.1 points and 1.5 assists during the regular season. His numbers don’t jump out at you, but Barbosa’s speed and quickness, even at 32 years old, still do.
Gentry coached Barbosa with the Phoenix Suns, too, so the speedster certainly has a good pulse on how the athletic 60-year-old runs his teams. Here’s more from Smith:
Having a veteran, who knows the intricacies of a new system, available is always a plus and Barbosa experienced this year's championship run with the Warriors, an added bonus when it comes to quiet leadership of a predominantly young roster.As discussed before, the Pelicans are young. And while what they experienced in 2014-15—beating the San Antonio Spurs in a do-or-die playoff match and then losing to the eventual champs in Round 1—will certainly be valuable, a proven veteran like Barbosa would do wonders for the roster.
He played for the veteran’s minimum with the Dubs last season, so the Pels wouldn’t have to break the bank for him either.
Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon and possibly Norris Cole could be occupying the backcourt next season, though, so things have the potential to get crowded.
But look at who the Warriors had.
Barbosa still found a way to contribute with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Shaun Livingston and Marreese Speights in the mix. At this point of his career, he’s going to have few explosions on a night-to-night basis.
Over the course of the season, though, Barbosa’s influence could prove to be worth well more than the relatively small money he’d get, especially in Year 1 of Gentry's tenure in NOLA.
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