The New Orleans Pelicans need to upgrade the bench

Tomas Satoransky #31 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Tomas Satoransky #31 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans got their second win in a row last night despite the dreadful play from their bench.

The Pelicans’ bench was supposed to be improved this season, as they were a disaster last year, but somehow they have gotten even worse.

Injuries to Zion Williamson and Kira Lewis Jr. have forced some guys into more minutes and extended roles, so if the Pelicans were at full strength, this might not be an issue, as one of Herb Jones, Josh Hart or Devonte’ Graham would be coming off the bench, which would bolster the unit overall.

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But the Pelicans aren’t at full strength and are unlikely to be this season, so they are going to need to upgrade their bench.

The four primary bench players for the Pelicans scored a combined 16 points last night, 12 of which were from Nickeil Alexander-Walker on horrendous shooting numbers, so even the one guy who scored in double digits did so inefficiently.

Something has to change, as the New Orleans Pelicans’ starters need some help.

Can the New Orleans Pelicans upgrade their bench?

The Pelicans’ starting five with Josh Hart and Herb Jones has a net rating of +7.2 this season, so they have not been the problem.

The bench is 25th in the NBA in scoring, can’t defend and has two guys in Garrett Temple and Tomas Satoransky who should not be NBA rotation players.

With NAW’s alarming shooting numbers, Willie Hernangomez might be the unit’s best player, and this is a guy who was behind Jaxson Hayes on the depth chart to start the season.

If the Pelicans are going to make the play-in, they have to get more from their bench, luckily they do have the assets for an upgrade.

With a $17 million trade exception, Jaxson Hayes, a boatload of picks and Tomas Satoransky’s expiring deal, the Pelicans should be able to find an impact talent who can help bolster their bench.

If a player like Ricky Rubio became available, the Pelicans should jump at the chance, as they are at least one solid player away from really being able to complete against quality opponents.

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