After a slow start to the season that seen the team post a 3-4 record, the New Orleans Pelicans have chosen to remake the end of their bench, turning young players into veterans who can likely contribute right away.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) November 12, 2013
Lost in the headlines of the Pelicans agreeing with Childress (which made the national rounds) was the signing of Amundson, but it may be the higher impact move. The 30-year-old big man was surprisingly waived by the Clippers in October (based largely on luxury tax considerations), but he is the definition of a “hustle” player who can help any team with rebounding and defensive energy. Amundson’s career numbers of 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game are nothing special, but he has routinely posted rebound rates above 15%, and that is a nice asset for any bench.
In the case of Childress, the former lottery pick (#6 overall by the Atlanta Hawks) has a longer pedigree, but likely a lower floor. The 30-year-old swingman was last seen in Brooklyn last season (where he appeared in 14 games), but is best known for being the first (by most calculations, anyway) NBA player to pass on a lucrative contract in the US for a bigger pay day in Greece when he signed with Olympiacos after the 2007-2008 season.
During his prime, Childress was a double-digit scorer (his first 4 full seasons in Atlanta) who was an above-average defender and rebounder for his position. However, as his athleticism has waned, so has his effectiveness, and no one is particularly sure if he can help an NBA team at the moment.
All in all, I think this is a positive move for New Orleans as a team with legitimate playoffs aspirations. Neither Lance Thomas or Arinze Onuaku (good as they may be) were going to help them as rotation guys at any point this season, but Amundson and/or Childress absolutely could.