While the league granted the New Orleans Pelicans an extra $3.625 million as the result of a player missing the entire upcoming season, the team needs to find an extra floor spacer.
When Darius Miller went down with a torn Achilles three months before the season was even going to tip-off, the front office knew it had more work to do before their campaign gets underway. Now, Fortunately for David Griffin and the New Orleans Pelicans’ front office, they’ll have the monetary capability to find someone to fill his shoes.
Due to the NBA’s injured player exception, the team will have an additional $3.625 million in cap space to add another player in place of Miller.
This team is very young and new to playing together, so no matter what, expectations must be tempered. However, there’s definitely some buzz that this accumulation of talent could morph this young flock of Pelicans into a playoff roster. No matter what, they’re going to need a sturdy bench if they have goals of being competitive this season.
What this team doesn’t need is more ballhandlers or bigs; they’ve already done a good job filling out their roster in those areas. In fact, between Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Frank Jackson, they’ll have a hard time getting all of those ballhandlers a shot to control the rock.
David Griffin might be most likely to target someone in a similar mold to Miller, which is probably what should be at the top of the New Orleans Pelicans’ priority list. This team currently lacks in the three-point shooting department, in addition to really needing an extra floor spacer; it might be best to find another veteran to help settle younger players on the roster.
The team does have Josh Hart and J.J. Redick to take some threes and find some space around the court. Redick has proven he can be a more-than-capable starter, while Hart continues to prove he can be a very sharp role player. However, behind those two, the team’s wing depth gets a little more up-in-the-air.
How much Alexander-Walker contributes off the bench in his rookie year will be an important trend to monitor. The rookie guard out of Virginia Tech looked impressive in summer ball, but the NBA is an entirely different animal.
In order to make sure the younger players on this roster have support, it would be wise for the Pelicans to target someone who’s played a lot of NBA basketball, preferably someone who’s been on big stages. While these kinds of quality veterans can be rare, there are a few candidates on the free-agent market who could provide the talented addition the Pelicans need.
Who knows, maybe David Griffin will ultimately decide to go with another guy from the Mike Krzyzewski lineage. The Pelicans have a league-leading five former Blue Devils on their roster, so maybe the front office likes what they have from their former Duke guys.