Pelicans: Damian Lillard can be the vocal team leader
One of the glaring problems the Pelicans had last season is that they didn’t really have a team leader.
Their best three players, Zion Williamson, Ingram and Lonzo Ball are all soft-spoken guys and not necessarily the types to assume a vocal leadership role.
They let their play do the talking, which is fine, but it also good to have a veteran who can call the young guys out and has the ear of players in a way that a coach never will.
Lillard has been that guy for Portland and would be the perfect complement to Zion in that regard, as Williamson just wants to do his thing without being the one who has to bark at the refs or pull a teammate aside to tell him what he did wrong or give him a boost of confidence.
The Pelicans have a very young team that lacks leadership, similar to the Suns before they got Chris Paul. The Suns are now one game away from the Finals and guys like Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton give the credit to the leadership and mentoring of Chris Paul.
The Pelicans could make a similar leap with a vocal leader like Lillard, who is better than Paul and could take the Pels to the next level as a franchise.