New Orleans Pelicans: Who will be the Summer League surprise?

New Orleans Pelicans guard Jared Harper Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jared Harper Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans will get back on the floor tonight, as the play the first of the four games on their Summer League schedule.

They have a roster that should dominate, with three guys returning who were playing impact minutes in the playoffs last season.

We’re all aware of what Jose Alvarado, Trey Murphy III and Naji Marshall can do, but are looking forward to seeing their development alongside newcomers Dyson Daniels and EJ Liddell.

Summer League usually brings a few surprises as well, guys who aren’t as well known who are playing hard trying to earn a spot on a roster.

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There is one guy in particular who is trying to pull an Alvarado and work up from a two-way deal onto the full time roster.

How to watch the New Orleans Pelicans Summer League game

The first Summer League game against the Portland Trail Blazers starts at 9:00 PM CT and you can watch it on ESPN 2

In addition to all the guys we know, here is a player who might surprise some people.

Jared Harper hopes to impress

Jared Harper joined the New Orleans Pelicans last season on a two-way contract and played sparingly in five games, three of them late in the season.

He did score in double digits in two of them, including a 10 point, nine assist effort against the Golden State Warriors.

The 6-foot point guard out of Auburn is 24-years-old and entering his 4th season as a professional. He has some skills that overlap with Kira Lewis Jr. and Devonte’ Graham, as he is a lighting quick and a very good athlete who thrives in transition.

He can also shoot, as he knocked down 37 percent of his 3-point shots in his final season at Auburn on high volume. His size has always been an issue, but he could have a future as a change-of-pace point guard off the bench who comes in and gives the Pelicans some scoring and playmaking in short bursts.

It seems as though the Pelicans have too many small guards already, and they do, but Lewis Jr.’s injury status is still up in the air until we see him play, and that may not be anytime soon, as he is not listed on the Summer League Roster.

Devonte’ Graham is fresh off a DUI and was a guy the Pels wanted to trade anyway, so his future in New Orleans is hardly guaranteed.

That could provide an opening for Harper, and he should get plenty of run in these four games to show what he can do.

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