With Austin Rivers potentially on the way out of New Orleans to clear cap space for Omer Asik and just rookie Russ Smith on the roster to replace him the Pelicans have reportedly looked into the prospect of signing Jameer Nelson according to David Aldridge.
Pelicans among the many teams that have inquired about Jameer Nelson since his release. But he’s in holding pattern like almost everyone.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 3, 2014
Nelson, who was recently waived by the Orlando Magic in a cost cutting move after ten years with the franchise, played in 68 games last season and averaged 12.1 points, 7 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game for Orlando. In addition to his on court contributions Nelson has a terrific reputation around the league as a solid locker room presence who will mentor younger players on the roster. With a Pelicans team that is both young and wants to compete the addition of Nelson would make a lot of sense as a way to help keep some players grounded in situations they have yet to face.
In all reality though it is very hard to see Nelson in a Pelicans uniform to start next season. Plenty of other teams will be lining up to acquire his services and the list will probably include contenders such as the Miami Heat and maybe even the Oklahoma City Thunder. If the money is close it is hard to see Nelson passing up a potential return to the NBA Finals as his career starts to reach its end. Combined with the interest in Troy Daniels though it does signal the fact that the Pelicans are looking for more shooting off the bench in the backcourt which makes a lot of sense.
Also emerging today was word that the Pelicans may be interested in free agent Kris Humphries formerly of the Boston Celtics.
Re: Humphries MT @JaredZwerling: LAC one of the teams interested, as are the Wolves, Wizards, Celtics, Mavericks, Rockets, Pelicans and Heat
— D.J. Foster (@fosterdj) July 2, 2014
The Humphries fit is more questionable, especially with reports that the Pelicans are trying to keep Ryan Anderson on the roster. If Anderson stays the Pelicans big man rotation seems set for the most part with Asik, Anthony Davis, Anderson and one of the Alexis Ajinca/Jeff Withey combination being able to handle things. Humphries would probably be an upgrade over Withey or Ajinca (who could also be sent out to make salary work in a trade), though for the cost it doesn’t seem to make sense for New Orleans with other needs.