New Orleans Pelicans: The Guards
Last season: Lonzo Ball, Eric Bledsoe, Kira Lewis Jr., Nickeil Alexander-Walker, J.J. Redick, Sindarius Thornwell
This season: Devonte’ Graham, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Kira Lewis Jr., Trey Murphy III, Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple
The biggest amount of turnover was in the guard ranks, as the Pelicans lost two starters in Lonzo Ball and Eric Bledsoe.
Devonte’ Graham will replace most of Lonzo’s production and may be a better fit off the ball with Zion Williamson, so I think that one is a wash or maybe a slight step back but not much.
I think the pair of Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Trey Murphy III (who will play forward as well) will be a big upgrade from Eric Bledsoe, who did not have a good season on either end.
The Pelicans lost some shooting when they traded Redick, but he was not having a good season either so Murphy III should be able to make up some of that.
Lewis Jr. should be better and Satoransky offers some quality depth at both guard spots. The Pelicans are younger, faster and deeper than last season.
NAW will be the X-factor, as he is ready to break out and could become the Pels’ third scoring option.
Verdict: The guard position has improved