The New Orleans Pelicans have been very busy in the last few weeks before the actual preseason starts. The flurry of moves were and is attempts to add depth & a solid player or two to fill in for injured starting small forward Solomon Hill who was pretty much lost for the regular season. Here’s a breakdown of everything over the last 2 weeks to catch you up:
The Pells resigned defensive minded 3 point shooting forward Dante Cunningham to a 1 year deal. The familiarity with Cunningham made him an obvious choice to Pelicans that is, to fill the starting small forward role in the absence of Solomon Hill. Cunningham averaged 6.6 PPG & 4.3 REBS in 2016 for the Pells while shooting 39% from downtown.
The Pells signed veteran small forward Martell Webster who hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2014-15 season. The 6-7 230 lbs Webster (30) is 10 year pro who was drafted 6th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers. Webster didn’t live up to high draft status and has had stints with Minnesota (2010-12) & Washington (2012-15) after leaving Portland. Martell’s career averages are 8.7 PPG 3.1 REBS with 38% shooting from beyond the arc in 580 games. Webster is attempting to complete is his comeback to the league with The Pelicans.
The Pells signed some competition for Chiek Diallo as the team inked former 1st rounder forward Perry Jones the 3rd to the team. Jones 6-11 240 lbs is a Louisiana native (Winnsboro) selected in the 1st round by OKC in 2012 after an excellent year with Baylor. The former Baylor Bear was used in scant minutes before being let go in 3 seasons with The Thunder. Perry Jones career numbers are 3.4 PPG 1.8 REBS & 11.7 Mins in 143 games.
The Pells signed according to Basketball Insiders forward Cliff Alexander to a deal. Alexander (21) who is 6-8 250 lbs last played for the Portland Trailblazers in the 2015-16 for just 8 games. He also signed short-term deals with Brooklyn, Orlando & a couple stops in the D-League with The Santa Cruz Warriors. The former Kansas Jayhawk is looking to stick and stay with New Orleans this season.
New Orleans also had their media day as they introduced the 2017-18 version of The Pelicans to world. The teams super-star forward Anthony Davis said:
“I think right now if you look at our roster, all of our guys could easily be in our rotation,” Davis said. “I think this is probably the most talented roster we’ve had. But that’s only on paper, we’ve got to go out and prove it.”
AD also said: “I think the biggest thing for me is trying to figure out how me and DeMarcus can make this thing work,” Davis said. “Coming into it last year, it was kind of tough, and I think it was a lot of pressure on (Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday) too because he’s trying to figure out getting me and DeMarcus the ball while still trying to be Jrue.”
The Other All-Star Big DeMarcus Cousins answered a lot of questions about the team but the one that stood out was the comment on President Trump were DeMarcus said:
The least of Trump’s concerns, Cousins said, should be what’s happening in the NFL. Cousins said he finds it weird that the president spends more time on Twitter than “taking care of the problems of our nation.” “It’s getting to the point where it’s just silly.”
After ALL that The Pelicans even had time to release their alternate jerseys & sign a deal with Coke Cola to become the official soft drink of the team. That was a pretty busy couple of weeks for New Orleans as they gear up for the upcoming season, pretty exciting almost as busy as them Sports Coma Guys!