3) What is the major change that needs to happen this offseason? Whether it be coach, player or general manager?
The overall goal. Remember last year’s goal? It was to build a young squad around Anthony Davis, that can grow into a team like the San Antonio Spurs. That plan is scrapped with DeMarcus Cousins.
The Pelicans have put themselves in a pressure cooker for next season. If they can not prove to Boogie this team can win, he will walk. And that likely means Anthony Davis will walk to. So they have to find a way to build a team around those two now.
Does that mean getting rid of Alvin Gentry or Dell Demps? Who knows. This guy leans toward getting rid of Demps. His decision making has been scattered, as some of his deals make the money, while others fall drastically short. He’s known for looking for under-the-radar players and going out of the box with his decisions. That may be the right idea for this team. However, it also might not be protocol for this new plan.
If New Orleans can find someone with a more consistent plan to win, then they might have to make that move.
I like Alvin Gentry. He has two years and $7 million left on his deal. I’d like to see him play out at least one of those. I could be swayed either way on Dell Demps.
The Pelicans will have to get creative this offseason. Tough to think they can keep Jrue Holiday for less than $20 million a season, and hard to think he’s worth any more than that. (You can hear Mathew Huff of NuggLove and I debate it this Saturday on the Pelican Debrief Podcast).
Once the Pelicans let Jrue Holiday walk, it’ll be up to Demps to pull off some magic to acquire talent. The Pelicans do have a bit to negotiate with. They have the rights to the 76ers second round pick (33rd), as well as their 2018 first. There are several points guards to be had in free agency (Patty Mills, Tyler Ennis, Sergio Rodriguez, Shelvin Mack), as well as the trade block (Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lin, Brandon Knight). The team can also take chances on players like Mario Hezonja, Shabazz Muhammad and Justin Holiday.
In addition, once the draft takes place, there will be even more players available. It might make sense to wait until the highest spender have blown their space and reap the after benefits.
I believe Alvin Gentry is perfect for the job. However, the biggest priority for the Pelicans should be perimeter scoring. Specifically, the Pelicans need scorers at the shooting guard and small forward position badly, two things that have been needed for quite some time.
A solid point guard who could maybe come in off the bench would not be a bad consideration as well. Patty Mills would not be a bad option to look at during free agency. Reggie Jackson could be an interesting piece as well for the Pelicans, if they could acquire him. On draft night, Gentry and Demps will need to be thinking two main words: perimeter scoring. That is, to boost the level of production from Boogie an A.D.
The most important change that needs to be this offseason is determining who will be the lead point guard moving forward. This player needs to be low-usage in terms of scoring, but is able to shoot from anywhere on the floor and get the ball into the post. Ty Lawson would fit perfectly on this roster.