While not exactly surprising, the Pelicans have announced in a press release that they plan on taking part in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League. It would be more surprising if New Orleans had announced that they were planning on not participating in summer league, something that usually all 30 NBA teams participate in whether it be in Las Vegas or Orlando.
Summer League is a great chance for teams to get a chance to see their newly acquired draft picks in some actual basketball, not just against cones and running drills. It’s also a chance for young players to work on what they’ve been developing all summer, give undrafted players a chance to get themselves noticed by scouts, and sometimes the last chance for players to save their careers.
While the official roster has yet to be announced and probably won’t be until after the draft, it’s
likely Pelicans center Jeff Withey will be one of those attending. Withey played in 58 games last season and had some solid numbers for a rookie but he’s still very young and has much to improve on. Summer league is the perfect place for him to put to the test everything he’ll be working on over the offseason.
John Reid of NOLA.com also believes that Withey will be taking part in summer league as well as the possibility of guard Pierre Jackson who has been playing in Turkey and the D-League while the Pelicans hold on to his draft rights.
“The Pelicans have not announced their summer league roster yet, but it’s likely to include center Jeff Withey, who has already taken advantage of the team’s volunteer offseason conditioning work.
There’s also a chance point guard Pierre Jackson may play on the Pelicans’ summer league team. New Orleans still holds Jackson’s rights although he played in the NBA Development League and in Europe this season.”
Jackson to be honest seems like a player that is too good to be playing in Summer League after he torched the D-League throughout the season. Maybe the Pelicans will use him playing in the summer league as a chance to give him some leadership experience or maybe just as trade bait.