As a basketball fan the NBA playoffs are an exciting time. Legacies are made, places in history solidified and games become memories that will last forever.
Things are always more exciting though when your favorite team is involved though and this year the Pelicans aren’t. That doesn’t mean that Pelicans fans have to just ignore their team while watching games though, as the playoffs are a great chance to fall in love with some potential free agent targets.
To help with that I put together a list of three players that will be free agents this summer and are still alive at the moment that I think could be potential fits for New Orleans.
Chris Douglas-Roberts, Charlotte Bobcats:
CDR joined the Bobcats midseason after spending some time with the Texas Legends in the D-League. Douglas-Roberts would fill a few roles for the Pelicans who are looking to add some shooting and help at small forward, where CDR has played most of his minutes this year.
While he probably isn’t a starting caliber player Douglas-Roberts has found a niche off the bench for the Bobcats by bringing some floor stretching ability. This season he has shot 38.6% from three on almost three attempts a night which would make him perfect to pair with any of the multitude of Pelicans who need shooters on the floor to help them be their most effective. He is also a passable defender, something that the Pelicans need desperately.
Jordan Hamilton, Houston Rockets:
It is unclear how much time on the floor Hamilton will see as his playing time has fluctuated wildly since he arrived in Houston courtesy of a midseason trade. Hamilton isn’t a good defender, or really even an average one at this point, but he can absolutely shoot the ball and for a team that ranked second to last in the league in three pointers attempted someone who can do that is a big deal. The fact that Hamilton, like Douglas-Roberts plays small forward just adds to things.
The most intriguing part of Hamilton though is that he is just 23 years old and only three years removed from being a first round draft choice. With a young core already in place adding another youngster as a cheap flier that would fill a need is something that would make a lot of sense for the Pelicans.
DeJuan Blair, Dallas Mavericks:
Blair would be a weird fit for New Orleans but one that could work in spot minutes off the bench to fix some of the rebounding issues that hit when Anthony Davis is not on the floor. Blair has his issues on defense thanks to being very undersized and a complete non-athlete at center, where he plays most of the time now, but if he qualified his 17.5 rebounding rate would have ranked him tied with Al Jefferson for 17th in the league this season.
Blair has some quick hands on defense and is a fairly good passer for a big man so he makes things work with his limitations so depending on how cheap he would come it may be worth at least a look for New Orleans for a player to come in and fill a few minutes a game off the bench next season.
What makes this task so hard is that trying to project what exactly the Pelicans are going to do, and even be looking for, at this point is very tough. With three restricted free agents and three potential unrestricted free agents (if Anthony Morrow opts out as expected) potential needs and cap room can change a lot as we go forward.
But it is a least a few players to keep an eye on as potential targets to make the playoffs a bit more interesting for those that weren’t completely sold yet.