For the first time in the Alvin Gentry era, the Pelicans are showing they’re here to win and are serious about it.
Year one, coming off a playoff berth, fell far below expectations. Gentry hardly had a healthy roster to work with, nor did he have the right players for his offense.
Year two has been a similar story so far. Their slow start was met with more health issues, and their free agent acquisitions didn’t bring any kind of “wow” factor.
That all changed at the conclusion of All-Star Weekend. Just as soon as Anthony Davis was named game MVP with a record 52 points, he became the second-biggest story in the basketball world. And I’m pretty sure he’s just fine with that.
General Manager Dell Demps pulled off a blockbuster deal that, by most accounts, overwhelmingly favors the Pelicans. They send rookie Buddy Hield, sharp shooter Langston Galloway, an inconsistent Tyreke Evans and two draft picks to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins and small forward Omri Casspi.
Yes, it leaves the Pelicans lacking at the guard position (for now) and prevents them from making a move in a deep 2017 draft class, but considering the fact that they now have two top 15 players on the roster, it’s worth the risk. I say risk because part of this deal’s success depends on how long Boogie remains in New Orleans and what effect he has on the team. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018, but the hope is that the Pelicans can re-sign him or extend his contract before it comes to that.
Whatever comes next is sure to be entertaining. But Pelicans fans and Anthony Davis should rest a little more assured that management isn’t hanging them out to dry, and they do want to become a power in the West. It starts with moves like this, becoming the best front court in basketball. The rest depends on the direction Gentry takes his big heavy roster, re-signing Jrue Holiday, and finding another true starter at shooting guard.
Stay tuned Pelicans fans. You just got a big reason jump on the Pelicans bandwagon as they try to close the playoff gap and build a real future.
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