The New Orleans Pelicans sent a curiously assembled squad to Las Vegas for NBA Summer League this year, largely because they didn’t have any first-round picks to send from the 2013 NBA Draft. Their largely consisted largely of either unsigned players or players that will be going into their second season with New Orleans.
One of those guys going into his second year with the Pelicans, or at least hoping to, was 27-year-old guard Brian Roberts. Roberts played his first year in the NBA with New Orleans last season, but is still waiting to find out if the Pelicans are going to pick his option up for the 2013-2014 season. That being said, Summer League was an important audition for Roberts.
In the Pelicans’ five games in Vegas, Roberts started all five and played 31.6 minutes per game. He was able to put up decent averages of 14.2 points, three rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting just 40.6 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond-the-arc.
However, when looking at Roberts and wondering if he deserves to have his option picked up, you can’t look only at his Summer League numbers; you also have to consider how he performed in New Orleans’ rotation last season.
Roberts played in 78 games in his rookie year and averaged 7.1 points, 2.8 assists, 1.2 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and a solid 38.6 percent from three in 17 minutes per game.
Roberts isn’t the type of player that’s going to take over games, but he’s also not a player who’s going to hurt his team. Last season and at Summer League, he showed the ability to knock down the outside shot and also showed good decision-making ability with the ball in his hands, something that’s underrated in a lot of non-point guards.
Given the combination of how he performed in Vegas and what he brought to the table last season, it’s hard to believe the Pelicans won’t pick up his option. After adding Tyreke Evans in free agency, they have a solid rotation at guard, but having solid depth is never a bad thing in the NBA, especially if it would cost just $789,000.