New Orleans Pelicans: Three free agents that could replace JJ Redick

J.J. Redick on the New Orleans Pelicans.(Photo by Julio
J.J. Redick on the New Orleans Pelicans.(Photo by Julio /
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New Orleans Pelicans
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans Target #3- Ersan Ilyasova

Ersan Ilyasova joins Kyle Korver on this list as another coveted veteran free agent. The 33-year-old Turkish forward is reportedly inching closer to making an NBA comeback after starting the season as a free agent.

Much like Korver, Ilyasova played for the Bucks last season but gradually saw his minutes wane compared to his usage in Philadelphia and Atlanta. However, he has the potential to be an extremely shrewd signing for a team if his last few months of inactivity don’t affect him too much.

The good thing about Ilyasova is that you know what you are going to get: nothing bad, but nothing tremendous either. That’s not a bad thing. If you’re adding someone to your roster in February, it would be silly to expect a world-beater.

Ilyasova tends to shoot around the league average in three-point percentage, around the mid-30s. He can add some rebounding and maturity in terms of defense, although he isn’t a plus on that end of the floor. His defensive numbers are pretty much neutral, which I think bodes well in a defense-oriented system like Stan Van Gundy’s. Ilyasova will not make many mistakes.

Ilyasova does not fit the same mold as Korver or Mathias, but my line of thinking is that the Pelicans don’t necessarily have to replace JJ Redick with a pure shooting guard. Let’s say you give Redick’s (theoretical) minutes to Nickeil Alexander-Walker, then you still have a minutes gap to fill in another spot.

If Alexander-Walker’s minutes go up, that’s where Ilyasova could come in. I would like to see him replace Nicolò Melli in Stan Van Gundy’s rotation. Melli has not performed like an NBA player and Ilyasova gives you everything the Italian big does, but at a higher level.

He would be a good fit next to Steven Adams, given that Ilyasova should shoot higher than Melli’s 24 percent from three. More importantly, I think he would complement Zion Williamson very well. Ilyasova’s possible addition to the Pelicans adds spacing which Williamson can use to attack the interior, giving New Orleans an intriguing option with a smaller line-up.

If you have any thoughts on who the New Orleans Pelicans should look to replace JJ Redick in the case of a departure, let us know. One thing is clear: New Orleans needs more shooting no matter what.

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