New Orleans Pelicans: Finding A Back-Up Center for 2021

If the New Orleans Pelicans want to take a center by committee approach in 2021, they’ll need an ideal second center

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been harping on the New Orleans Pelicans to use a center by committee approach in 2021. I’ve even written about it here recently. This idea goes against what a lot of Pelicans fans are saying in our mentions but hear me out.

The center position is dying in the modern NBA at such a high rate that it doesn’t make sense to pay premium money at that position. Just look at the 2020 NBA playoffs, the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Toronto Raptors all use a center by committee approach.

With developing big man Jaxson Hayes already on the Pelicans roster, the best approach the Pelicans front office can have is building up their center position by adding a second center to platoon with Hayes.

Now I know many of you reading this are already preparing your rebuttals that the Pelicans have limited cap space, so how about a trade? I think trading for a mid-tier center wouldn’t take much and this could be the perfect move to acquire one that’ll fit right into the New Orleans Pelicans roster.

The New Orleans Pelicans acquire their second center from the Dallas Mavericks

For the New Orleans Pelicans, I think this deal with the Dallas Maverick is the perfect move. The Pelicans will give them more of the shooting they crave while taking advantage of the team’s frontcourt depth. Here it is:

Pelicans Get
Maxi Kleber
2022 Second Rd Pick
Mavericks Get
J.J. Redick

Tada! This is a move I like for both the Mavericks and the Pelicans. Both teams move on from a player at an area of depth for a player at a position of need. To some New Orleans Pelicans fans, moving on from J.J. Redick will be tough but he’s already 36 and deserves a to contend for a title.

In Dallas, Redick will become the ideal shooter that the Mavericks need playing off of Luka. The one issue hurting the Mavericks the most during the playoffs was their lack of guard depth. Redick is perfect for the Mavericks system too, running off of screens and playing in pick-and-rolls.

Of course, this deal is all about what the New Orleans Pelicans get. Maxi Kleber is a big man that I think can be the ideal offensive foil to Jaxson Hayes’ defensive game. Kleber plays a stretch-big role with a 36 percent stroke from the outside. He’s also an excellent offensive roll-man and an underrated passer.

The counting numbers aren’t there for Kleber because he plays in a reserve role, but the impact he gives the Mavericks offense is clear any time you watch him. That’s the type of impact I’d love to see the Pelicans add to their center approach next season.

For those of you who don’t agree with adding Kleber, I present you his numbers per 36 minutes. 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists a game, solid stuff if you ask me. To clarify, those numbers are comparable to Al Horford during his time as a primary offensive center for the Boston Celtics.

Sure, Kleber’s defense is a concern but that’s why he’ll be sharing the spotlight with Jaxson Hayes. Kleber’s addition is all about offense and I see him as the perfect roll-man for Lonzo Ball and a spacer who’ll up driving lanes for Zion Williamson.

The New Orleans Pelicans need to plug a lot of their holes on their roster this offseason and trading for Maxi Kleber is an easy move that won’t break the bank for the team going forward.