After starting the series earlier today with a look at one of the few numbers in New Orleans Pelicans franchise history to be worn by just a single player we move on to a number that has perhaps the best set of bookends on the entire list in number 1. In total the number 1 has been worn eight times in franchise history with the first coming in the 2003-2004 season and the most recent in this past season with a host of one or half season rentals in between.
The First to Wear #1: Baron Davis, 2003-2005
The Most Recent to Wear #1: Tyreke Evans 2013-2014
If things work out as well as the Pelicans plan with Tyreke Evans there won’t be a number on this list with as good of front and back-end usages of a number as the number 1. Davis stared for the then New Orleans Hornets from 2002 until being traded to the Golden State Warriors in 2005, adding an All-Star appearance during his terrific 2003-2004 campaign. That season Davis played an amazing 40.1 minutes per game while averaging 22.9 points, 7.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 steals, making him one of the more exciting players in the entire league.
After Davis left the franchise, number 1 bounced around to a few role players in Synder, Anderson, Ariza and Warrick. While all were none that great with the, at the time, Hornets the list of names isn’t awful as all by Synder had multiple year runs as actual productive NBA players with Ariza and Anderson still fitting into that mold.
This past season prized free agent signing Tyreke Evans took hold of 1 and started to return it to a bit to the glory of its early days in the franchise. While he wasn’t Davis in 2004, Evans was a solid acquisition for the Pelicans and started to show even more promise late in the season when he averaged 20.4 points per game on 51 percent shooting to go along with 5.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists in 15 games in the month of March and 19.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists in the seven April games the Pelicans played.
Behind Davis and Evans (especially if the latter can continue the end of last season into the upcoming one) there is an argument to be made that number 1 is in fact the best number in New Orleans Pelicans (Hornets) history. It may not have the depth of some of the other numbers still to come on this list but as far as top end talent goes number 1 is clearly in the conversation.