Sports Out West

NBA’s biggest losers: New Orleans Pelicans

Jrue

The New Orleans Pelicans cannot do anything right.

Last June, the Pelicans sent the rights to Nerlens Noel and a top-five protected 2014 draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday. Holiday was fresh off of an All-Star season and played his best ball for the Sixers. He’s only 23 and should be considered a good point guard, by any means. However, the rebuilding Pelicans will most likely lose out on a potential-heavy Noel and a top-five pick for a linear point guard. They paid $1.50 to the dollar for the guard in a guard-heavy lineup.

Before that deal was a swap to acquire Tyreke Evans (when the team already had Eric Gordon and Brian Roberts) to an already crowded backcourt. Evans has yet to reproduce a season as productive as his rookie season. He’s been a bench player despite the year-ending injury to Ryan Anderson because of his lack of outside shooting. He plays the same role as both Gordon and Holiday (and Roberts).

They changed their names to the Pelicans — and they may just change it back.

With the season nearly over, the Pelicans have a core of oft-injured Gordon and Evans, half a season of Holiday, the next best big man in Anthony Davis, an injured Ryan Anderson, no cap space, and no notable picks in the draft. That’s a whole lot of nothing aside from Davis.

This is the same team that was vetoed by the league (as a league-owned team) for their first Chris Paul deal. Then, settled for basically pennies of the dollar for their franchise point guard and spent a top-10 pick on Austin Rivers.

The team, next season, looks fine on paper — Holiday, Gordon, Evans, Anderson, and Davis. But, consider that this team remains in the Western Conference and cannot spend any money in case another injury-plagued season occurs (and it will), and you can see why the Pelicans are the hard-luck team of the NBA.

 

Photo courtesy of ESPN.com

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Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a sports and video game journalist born and raised in Southern California. He is great at finding the important detail in the mundane and ordinary. He has published articles for Riot Games, IGN.com, 1UP.com, Rotowire.com, and SBNation.