2020-21 Draft Guide Team Preview: New Orleans Pelicans

  • Draft Rumors

    Tyrese Maxey’s only in-person workout was for Pelicans — Jeff McDonald, November 12

    Aaron Nesmith works out for Pelicans — James Ham, November 11

    Pelicans looking to trade up on Draft Day, Avdija, Vassell as potential targets — USA Today, November 3

    Free Agency Rumors

    Derrick Favors open to re-signing with Pelicans, playing for SVG — New Orleans Times-Picayune, November 11

    How’d We Get Here?

    The Pelicans had their hand forced in the Anthony Davis saga but did a nice job regrouping in a hurry; winning the draft lottery and getting phenom Zion Williamson sure helped. The Pels replenished their depth and landed some intriguing young talent, including getting Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball as the headliners in the Davis deal. Both prospered out of the LA lights and LeBron’s shadow. Zion’s knees kept him under wraps until January but what we did see was explosive. Unfortunately, New Orleans was one of the more disappointing teams in the bubble, frittering away a chance at the playoffs, with talk of Williamson’s conditioning taking center stage. Alvin Gentry was dismissed and the team tabbed Stan Van Gundy as the next bench boss. Despite the bitter ending, the Pelicans have to like where they’re positioned so quickly after their franchise player took his ball and went westward.

    Jrue Holiday was put on the block and the Pelicans leveraged Milwaukee’s deepest Giannis-related fears into another haul, getting back three first-rounders plus two pick swaps, in addition to tradeable players in Eric Bledsoe and George Hill. They’re not done moving and shaking but it’s clear that the Pels are tilting towards their younger players. Expect New Orleans to be among the most entertaining League Pass teams.

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