The New Orleans Pelicans have been very busy since drafting big man Anthony Davis.
In 2012, they acquired power forward Ryan Anderson from the Orlando Magic in a sign-and-trade. Prior to that, they dealt two first round picks to the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire former All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday and point guard Pierre Jackson (who they have since dealt back to the 76ers). Last year, they added Sacramento Kings’ guard Tyreke Evans. However, injuries and disappointing play kept them out of the playoffs.
Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders believes the Pelicans could be a playoff team if they add another piece or two to their bench.
If NOLA stays healthy and adds another contributor off the bench at some point (REALLY need Rivers to take a big step), I truly believe they could put together a nice run at one of the lower playoff spots. That certainly won’t be easy in such a deep field, but I genuinely think Davis is the type of transcendent talent that will have us talking about him in future MVP races from around year-five and on. If I’m not mistaken, they’ve gone from 27 to 34 wins in his first couple seasons, and I see no reason why they cannot expect a total somewhere in the 40′s this year. This is a very talented group that Coach Williams has now had together for a couple seasons. I think they find a way to turn the corner and make it interesting this year.
With Davis likely taking another step up, the Pelicans are a legitimate playoff contender but it is going to be tough because they others lower playoff or fringe playoff teams like the Dallas Mavericks, have improved as well.