Predicting New Orleans Pelicans’ Final 15-Man Roster
15 Players Who Will Help Make The Pelicans Fly
There were two major facelifts done to the basketball team that resides in New Orleans. No longer are they the Hornets, and instead they will now be called the Pelicans. The other facelift occurred when New Orleans make two trades in which they acquired Jrue Holiday from Philadelphia and Tyreke Evans from Sacramento. The Pelicans already have Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu, so for now it’s just speculation as to which of those three players will end up coming off of the bench for the Pelicans this season. Jrue comes in and immediately takes over the starting point guard duties with the young up and coming Brian Roberts playing backup. Another young player New Orleans is hoping can rebound from a below average rookie campaign would be Austin Rivers. Being compared to Ray Allen may have made too high of expectations for Rivers to reach his rookie year, but he can still be a sharp shooter from the outside.
With Robin Lopez no longer in town, the Pelicans’ interior play is expected to have a major change. Ryan Anderson goes from being a dominant sixth man to playing in the starting rotation. Anderson starting at power forward means Anthony Davis makes the shift from power forward to center. The problem with losing a player like Lopez means New Orleans has practically zero depth on the inside. One bright spot could be Jeff Withey; if he can beat out the likes of Jason Smith or Greg Stiemsma, then he could become the first big man off the bench for the Pelicans.
Let’s take a look at the complete 15-man roster we could see come opening day for the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans acquired Jrue from Philadelphia, and he'll come in immediately and make an impact. Brian Roberts looks to continue the success he had from his rookie year and play quality ball while backing up Holiday.
Eric Gordon looks to start this season off healthy unlike last year. Tyreke Evans can play point guard, shooting guard and small forward so he'll be Mr. Versatility off of the bench for New Orleans, and Austin Rivers can be a big part of the rotation if he can get his outside shot down pat. Morrow just brings veteran experience to this group.
Aminu is the likely starter at this position, but Tyreke Evans will get lots of backup time due to lack of depth.
Ryan Anderson goes from dominant sixth man to starting power forward. It shouldn't affect his game too much, and he should continue spreading the floor for New Orleans. Jason Smith is likely to get the majority of backup minutes, but Lance Thomas has the ability to challenge for some time during the season.
With no Robin Lopez, Anthony Davis slides over from power forward and will be the full time center for the Pelicans. There isn't much depth to brag about here, but Jeff Withey could be a sleeper for this team and gain playing time as the season goes on.