There are lots of ways to build a championship roster and the New Orleans Pelicans appear to have chosen their path.
We’ve seen the “super” team approach over the last decade as superstars collude to join forces on the same team as LeBron James did in Miami.
But this approach has failed more times than not, most recently in Brooklyn, who are now a hot mess after building a “super” team around Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.
It turns out that chemistry and personalities matter, and just throwing superstar names onto a piece of paper doesn’t guarantee anything, as the Nets were bounced in the first round of the playoffs and are now forced to trade Durant.
That’s why I don’t think the Pelicans are going to trade for Durant, as the most recent history in the NBA Finals shows that the “super” team approach is no longer the trend.
New Orleans Pelicans: Building sustainable success
The New Orleans Pelicans don’t want to be a flash in the pan, as they have the young talent and future assets to be good now and well into the future.
If you look at the last two NBA Finals, you’ll see this is the approach the best teams are taking, as Milwaukee and Phoenix are both built around homegrown stars, as are Golden State and Boston.
Ironically, the Warriors are usually the first team mentioned when it comes to the “super” team approach, but the truth is that nearly their entire roster was drafted. The chance to add Durant was a fluke that the Warriors took advantage of, but now they are right back to winning a title with guys that they acquired via the draft.
Then you have the Boston Celtics, whose roster was built off the last Nets’ “super” team when Brooklyn traded just about all of their draft assets to Boston in one of the worst trades in NBA history.
The Pelicans can learn a lot from the Celtics, who built their roster around stars that they drafted using the largess of the Brooklyn debacle (Houston will be the next team to do it, mark my words).
With a team full of young talent and plenty of draft assets, the Pelicans might be tempted to make a splashy trade for a superstar, but they don’t really need to, as they can continue to build their roster around Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram (acquired via trade), Herbert Jones, Trey Murphy III, Jose Alvarado and Dyson Daniels.
The league is trending more towards rosters built through the draft, and the New Orleans Pelicans and are poised to be the next great homegrown team.