As free agency is under way and we are beginning to get a better look at what team rosters will look like next year, we are looking at the starting lineups for many NBA teams. Today, we will examine the New Orleans Pelicans. Here are the ones we have done that you can look at:
Since David Griffin took over for the Pelicans, they have been extra busy. The trade of Anthony Davis for Lonzo, Ingram, Hart, and picks set things in motion and they followed suit by having a great draft day. Just recently, they’ve signed JJ Redick and Derrick Favors. The Pelicans have good depth on their roster and have tough lineup decisions to make this year.
The Pelicans still have to fill out their roster but, for now, this is what we see as their rotation going into next season:
PG: Lonzo Ball, Frank Jackson, Nickeil Alexander-Walker
SG: Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick, E’Twaun Moore
SF: Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kenrich Williams
PF: Zion Williamson, Nicolo Melli, Christian Wood, Zylan Cheatham
C: Derrick Favors, Jahlil Okafor, Jaxson Hayes
This lineup was one that we kept moving back and forth on. It was really tough to decide on a few choices within the rotation which we’ll get into now.
First, the biggest decision was to decide between starting Lonzo or JJ. Ultimately we chose to start Ball because not only does he make up a great pairing with Jrue as a playmaker and lockdown defender, but JJ actually showed great promise off of the bench for Philly at times last year.
Second, we had to determine what the backcourt ordering would be. We slotted Josh Hart behind Ingram because we are confident in his defensive ability to guard positions 1-3. Jaxson Hayes isn’t ready just yet and will have to sit behind Okafor for now until he starts to fill out and develops more of an NBA ready game. Nickeil Alexander-Walker is more of a shooting guard now, but we see him becoming more of a playmaker for this New Orleans Pelicans team in the near future. We expect that he’ll make more of an impact on the team than Hayes this year.
Alvin Gentry will have decisions to make with the rotation this upcoming year and we’ll see how much this roster changes come start of the next season, but the problems he has are not similar to the ones in the past. The Pelicans are a deep team and will be looking to contend immediately in the packed Western Conference.