The New Orleans Pelicans are starting a new era, nickname and all. Not only are they no longer the Hornets, but they are now building a young team centered around Anthony Davis, including this summer’s acquisitions of Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans, both of whom figure to play a big part in the Pelican’s potential success in the 2013-2014 NBA season.
One of the best kept secrets about the Pelicans, though, is the fact that their frontcourt isn’t exactly riddled with depth. Unless they plan to move Davis to center often, Greg Stiemsma and rookie Jeff Withey figure to split time at center. Also, Ryan Anderson is the only consistent option that New Orleans has at the power forward after Davis. Even with the team bringing back Lance Thomas and Arinze Onuaku this week, it seems like there are minutes to be had at the four.
Jason Smith could be a guy that could carve out a role with New Orleans. Smith has spent the last three seasons with the Hornets/Pelicans. Last season he played in 51 games and averaged 8.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in only 17.2 minutes per game while shooting 49 percent from the floor.
Smith, though unheralded, is actually an interesting offensive player. He’s not exceptional in terms of stretching the floor by spotting up and also doesn’t post-up well, but he is effective in terms of making cuts and working in the pick-and-roll. Defensively he has his issues, but that’s a prevalent problem on this Pelicans roster.
It’s not likely Smith plays a huge role for New Orleans this year, but he could be a solid option for them coming off of the bench to play 10-15 minutes per game. He gives the Pelicans size and some interesting looks offensively. As this team hopes to make the postseason, Smith is a reserve who could help them get there.