New Orleans Pelicans: Coach Green hints at wide-open rotation

Willie Green during a press conference at the New Orleans Pelicans Media Day. Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
Willie Green during a press conference at the New Orleans Pelicans Media Day. Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans made a lot of changes this offseason in the hopes of getting to the playoffs.

They traded three guys out of their starting five, hired a new head coach and revamped a bench that was a real weakness for the team last season.

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The Pelicans will have a young roster, but they also have several veterans in Jonas Valanciunas, Devonte’ Graham, Garrett Temple, Josh Hart and Tomas Satoransky that are going to get minutes.

The Pelicans starting lineup and rotation will probably get more consistent throughout the year as certain young players step up and carve out a role for themselves, but for now it appears the rotation is wide open.

New Orleans Pelicans: Coach Green talked about at a fluid rotation

In a recent Q&A after practice, head coach Willie Green spoke about some of his core philosophies and rules but was also asked questions about the rotation, specifically how he would allocate minutes between his young player and veterans.

This is what Green had to say:

"“It’s game by game. Some games may fit more of a veteran style, some games a young guy might have it going on. And then we’re still in this environment of a global pandemic, so guys need to be ready to step up… We want everybody ready.”"

I don’t think it is a surprise that the Pelicans will use a combination of veterans and young players from night to night. I think this will be especially true early on, when coach Green might lean on guys like Satoransky and Temple, veterans who know their roles and what is expected of them.

But I also like what coach Green said about young players, as SVG stubbornly refused to make changes in the starting lineup and rotation in an effort to keep his veterans happy, which kept guys like Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes on the bench when they should have been out there figuring it out.

Now more than ever it is important to have “everybody ready” as we don’t know how the season will go when it comes to injuries or illness (knock on wood) and teams may have to use more players than they would normally.

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