Dell Demps and Coach Alvin Gentry are returning next season. With the draft lottery results in, the New Orleans Pelicans can now finally focus directly on the roster. One noticeable hole is consistency and depth at both wing positions, which to Pelicans fans is unfortunately nothing new.
Without thinking, name your favorite New Orleans Pelicans small forward or shooting guard.
How long did that take you? Was it Peja Stojakovic? Maybe it was Rasual Butler. I doubt it was Morris Peterson, James Posey or Julian Wright. Probably wasn’t Cedric Simmons or Al-Farouq-Aminu either. Could it be Tyreke Evans. He came in as a possible wing, but became a better fit as the primary ball handling guard.
We won’t count him for this article, as he was partly responsible for the overall resurgence of good basketball in New Orleans. He gets a slight pass.
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There’re so many more wings that either came via trade, signed out of free agency, or in the draft. None would end up working out to hopes of New Orleans Pelicans fans. Some did well for stretches but didn’t completely live up to original expectations. Others would be past their primes and the rest either never would develop out of college or would need another team to realize their potential.
You can blame the players, the coaches, or overall misfortune. The blame though, in the end, should fall with the organization. Whether they were rushed to make decisions, picked flashy players, or just misjudged what a player had left in the tank they’ve underachieved from a personnel standpoint.
While they have yet to make a decision on what to do with Jrue Holiday, that is not the only hole on this roster. Not acquiring more quality talent at the wing position could be a sizable part of the story that drives both A.D. and Boogie out of NOLA.
Even scarier, it could be also apart of a story that drives basketball entirely out of the Big eEasy. The Pelicans are short on time and chances to make things click on all levels. Depending on your opinion on the Pelicans going forward, you may feel this article is pointless.
All of this doesn’t fall on Dell Demps and can not be all placed on former G.M. Jeff Bower either.
Nonetheless, the time for excuses are over for the players, the coaches, and front office. They have two of the best forces in the NBA on their roster. Some NBA franchises don’t have one or a player even close.
If New Orleans wants to truly take the next step and surround their superstars with help, they need to address and solidify the shooting guard and small forward position. This time, whether through trade, the draft, or free agency, they have zero room for error and zero additional time to waste.