New Orleans Pelicans: Biggest questions for teams in the Southwest

Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
New Orleans Pelicans
Jalen Green #0 of the Houston Rockets drives past Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans hope to join the elite of the Western Conference next season but first they’ll have to take care of business against the teams in their own division.

The Southwest Division will be one of the NBA’s best and is arguably the future of the NBA, with strong teams at the top and up and coming ones at the bottom.

  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Houston Rockets

The Grizzlies, Mavericks and Pelicans should all be competing for playoff spots next season and the Spurs and Rockets are loaded with young talent and should be competitive very soon.

There are at least three legit MVP candidates in the division with Ja Morant, Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson, which is why we’ll be seeing all of these teams plenty on national TV next season.

This could finally be the year for CJ McCollum. light. Related Story

But the division isn’t quite the best yet, as each team has big question marks heading into next season. Here is one question for each team.

New Orleans Pelicans: Questions for the Southwest Division

Do the Houston Rockets have a superstar to build around?

The Rockets will be one of the youngest teams in the NBA next season, with nearly their entire roster under the age of 25 and a lot of it in their early 20’s.

They have a lot of exciting young talent but the question is whether they have found the superstar to build around, as the teams at the top of the division all have at least one.

Jalen Green could be that guy, as he exploded down the stretch last season and looked like a player who will compete for scoring titles very soon. But can he do anything other than score? Is he a two-way player who can lead a good team?

The Rockets drafted Jabari Smith Jr. with the 3rd overall pick this offseason and he too has a chance to be a star. He was expected to be the #1 pick but Orlando pivoted and took Paolo Banchero.

Smith is a very good shooter who should be able to defend right away, so the only question around him is whether he is more than just a 3-and-D player of if he can be an elite scorer from all three levels of the floor.

The Rockets have a great start to a building a competitive roster but it will be interesting to see who steps up this season and takes the reins as the start of the team.