New Orleans Pelicans: Pass or pursue on 4 free agent small forwards

Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat dunks the ball during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat dunks the ball during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) /
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With a short offseason, the New Orleans Pelicans will have to make decisions quickly on free agents.

The New Orleans Pelicans have a week until the draft. Two days later, free agency starts, which means they won’t have much time to make decisions.

The Pelicans likely have a list of guys they plan to pursue, but that list will blow up quickly as Woj starts bombing Twitter with news in the very first hour of free agency.

Related Story. Trading Jrue Holiday to the Suns for Devin Booker. light

The Pels need some depth at both forward positions, a center and a backup point guard and some of those holes will be filled with their four draft picks.

They could also trade Jrue Holiday, and there are a number of interesting trades out there to consider. This is probably the best way to add depth and talent to the roster without going into the luxury tax.

There is also free agency but it is too soon to know exactly what the Pelicans’ plans are, as they still have no idea how much salary cap space they will have.

The salary cap has now been set, and after the Pels sign Brandon Ingram, they will have little, if any, money left over to spend, which is why most predict Holiday will be traded before free agency or soon after it starts.

Cap space aside, there are a number of free agents the Pels should pursue, but also some they should definitely pass on. Here are three small forwards the Pels should consider.

Danilo Gallinari

On paper, Danilo Gallinari would be a perfect forward to pair with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

He can play either forward position, runs the pick-and-roll as well as anyone and would stretch the floor and create space for the Pels’ two young scorers.

Gallinari is 32-years-old but coming off one of his best seasons where he averaged 18.7 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 40.5 percent from long range.

He’d make the New Orleans Pelicans’ offense nearly unstoppable.

But, there are a number of red flags.

First, he is 32-years-old.

Second, he made $22.6 million last season and could get a similar deal from someone.

Third, he can’t play a lick of defense.

Fourth, he has a long injury history.

The third and fourth reasons are really the most important, as the Pels may be able to open up some cap space by trading Holiday and they could use another veteran.

But the Pelicans’ defense is woeful and they can’t have another guy out there who can’t defend his position. Who is Gallinari going to guard with Ingram and Zion on the floor?

Finally, the Pels’ last season was derailed because of injury and they can’t take risks on high-priced guys who might not be on the floor.

It’s a nice idea, but no.

VERDICT: PASS