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NBA New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans’ 5 Early NBA Summer League Standouts

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New Orleans Pelicans' 5 Early NBA Summer League Standouts

monty williams new orleans pelicans
Derick E. Hingle- USA Today Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans have the talent to make a legitimate run at the playoffs next season, but a healthy team will be needed to do that. With the 2014 NBA Draft in the past and the offseason getting underway, let's take a look at five Summer League standouts so far for coach Monty Williams and his Bayou Birds.

5. C Jeff Withey

jeff withey new orleans pelicans
Jerome Miron- USA Today Sports

5. C Jeff Withey

jeff withey new orleans pelicans
Jerome Miron- USA Today Sports

Pelicans fans have been anticipating the development of Jeff Withey. He was an All-American at Kansas before joining New Orleans as a rookie in 2013 via a post-draft trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. Withey is showing off his defensive ability so far at the NBA Summer League with 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 blocks (sixth in the league), one steal, and seven points per game on top of that.

4. SG Courtney Fells

courtney fells
Daniel Shirey- USA Today Sports

4. SG Courtney Fells

courtney fells
Daniel Shirey- USA Today Sports

Courtney Fells is a current member of the Bucaneros de La Guairá, a professional basketball team in Venezuela. However, he has decided to take his talents to the Las Vegas Summer League to join the Pelicans. He has been quite a factor through three contests, averaging 16.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. He played D-League ball last year with the Austin Toros, the San Antonio Spurs' affiliate.

3. PF/C Patric Young

patric young new orleans pelicans
Bob Donnan- USA Today Sports

3. PF/C Patric Young

patric young new orleans pelicans
Bob Donnan- USA Today Sports

The SEC Defensive Player of the Year and Pete Newell Big Man Award winner surprisingly went undrafted this year. The former five-star recruit is looking good and hoping to add a defensive presence to the Pelicans' roster when the new season gets underway. Patric Young is averaging 9.7 points, eight rebounds, and a block with New Orleans' Summer League team.

2. SF DeQuan Jones

dequan jones
Troy Taormina- USA Today Sports

2. SF DeQuan Jones

dequan jones
Troy Taormina- USA Today Sports

DeQuan Jones played in the D-League last year for the Reno Bighorns after having played for the Orlando Magic in 2012. In two games played in the Las Vegas Summer League, Jones is averaging 17 points per game, along with 2.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.5 steals.

1. PG Russ Smith

russ smith new orleans pelicans
Thomas J. Russo- USA Today Sports

1. PG Russ Smith

russ smith new orleans pelicans
Thomas J. Russo- USA Today Sports

The former Louisville standout was drafted in the second round of this year's draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and traded to New Orleans for rights to Pierre Jackson. Russ Smith, a Consensus All-American in 2014, is looking great for the Pels so far, averaging 13.3 points, six rebounds, 7.7 assists and two steals. Smith has outstanding upside as an NBA point guard, and the Pelicans look to have found a nice little complement to Jrue Holiday.