The New Orleans Pelicans will head into this offseason with a much different vibe than last year.
Last offseason was anything but quiet, as the Pelicans traded away three of their starters, fired their head coach, and then got the news that Zion Williamson was hurt.
There was a ton of uncertainty entering the season and it showed, as the New Orleans Pelicans got out to a terrible start, Brandon Ingram got hurt and the prognosis for the season looked bleak.
The Pels were able to turn it around, make the big trade for CJ McCollum, and fight their way into the playoffs behind stellar play from McCollum, Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas and a handful of rookies.
Even though the Pelicans ultimately lost in the playoffs, the season ended on a high note with a lot of optimism. This offseason is going to be a lot different in New Orleans.
The New Orleans Pelicans finally have stability
The Pelicans have 14 players under contract and a head coach who looks like the next great coach in the NBA in Willie Green.
That doesn’t mean they won’t make some moves this offseason, but unlike last year, they don’t have players they need to unload and their starting five are all coming back.
There is no huge question mark hanging over the team like there was with Lonzo Ball, or a guy who isn’t a clear fit, which was the case with Eric Bledsoe.
The Pelicans have stability in their starting five, on the bench and in their coaching staff, which is shaping up to be one of the best in the league, with rising stars like Teresa Weatherspoon and Fred Vinson in the assistant ranks.
Former Pels’ assistant Chris Finch is now the head coach of the Timberwolves, so New Orleans has done a good job of finding quality assistants and have had stability there through several head coaches.
The New Orleans Pelicans clearly built some chemistry with CJ McCollum and will now have an entire offseason to integrate Zion Williamson into what they were building. Zion will reportedly be working out with CJ this summer (according to McCollum), hopefully putting to rest any notions that Williamson is unhappy with New Orleans.
The Pelicans have the 8th pick coming to add even more talent to the pipeline, and now have the right mix of veteran stars and high-upside talent to compete for years to come.
We probably won’t be seeing the Pelicans in the headlines or Woj bombs as much this summer, and that’s a good thing.