The New Orleans Pelicans still have some needs after the draft and free agency.
The New Orleans Pelicans will have a lot of new faces when the NBA season kicks off in a few weeks. They added one player in the draft, three via trade, two by two-way contract and three in free agency.
That means 20-year-old Zion Williamson is now the longest-tenured member of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Even with all of these new faces, the Pelicans still have needs. They came into the offseason needing depth at both forward positions, center and backup point guard.
They got their center Steven Adams in the Jrue Holiday trade and he should be a significant upgrade over Derrick Favors on both ends of the floor.
They got some depth at power forward and center by signing Wenyen Gabriel, Willy Hernangomez and Will Magnay and the Pels hopefully drafted their point guard of the future in Kira Lewis Jr.
So what does that leave?
New Orleans Pelicans: 3 biggest needs to fill this offseason
The Pelicans added some depth at power forward and center (though the quality is debatable) but failed to really boost their small forward depth.
If you look at the depth chart it goes Brandon Ingram and then a big question mark. Josh Hart can play some wing to be sure, but he is best suited at shooting guard.
Sindarius Thornwell was re-signed but he hasn’t proven his fit yet though he did play decently in the bubble. Undrafted rookie Naji Marshall could be one of the gems of the draft, but do the Pels even expect him to make the rotation?
The Pelicans got bigger and stronger in the paint with the additions of Adams, Hernangomez, Gabriel and Magnay but they are still very thin at small forward, arguably the most important position in the game.
With Ingram’s health history, it is not the smartest move to enter the season without a backup and the Pels don’t really have one.
They entered the offseason hoping to find a big wing defender, and who knows, maybe Marshall or Thornwell could be that, but right now they are unproven.
The Pelicans needed more wing depth and they still do.