Fact or Fiction: New Orleans Pelicansby Jacari McRae August 31, 2021 0 comments
Two years ago, the New Orleans Pelicans traded Anthony Davis for everything the Los Angeles Lakers could offer. That summer, they had tons of cap space and picks. They had a roster that consisted of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, and Josh Hart. New Orleans had young talent they could either build around or trade for a star player. They had everything a young team could ask for. However, they haven’t taken advantage of it. For the past two years, they missed the playoffs without maximizing their flexibility.
After missing out on Kyle Lowry this off-season, the Pelicans’ biggest acquisitions were Devonte’ Graham and Jonas Valancuinas. There are many statements being made about this year’s squad, but we’ve got you covered with our Fact or Fiction series. It features the biggest claims being made about the Pelicans and gives you the answer with a decisive fact or fiction.
Make sure to check out all of our other Fact or Fiction articles.
David Griffin should be on the hot seat
The Pelicans came into last season with hopes of making the playoffs. Unfortunately, they ended up missing the playoffs. With both Zion and Ingram making all-star leaps, the expectations of making the playoffs will only get louder. It’s up to David Griffin and the Pelicans front office to fix that. So far, that hasn’t been the case. They haven’t taken advantage of the available picks and cap space to build around their two stars. Zion has reportedly been frustrated with the two losing seasons. Griffin needs to ensure Zion has enough to make the playoffs and compete. Or else, this could turn into another Davis fiasco. And that’s the last thing the Pelicans need.
Verdict: Fact, Griffin should be on the hot seat.
Pelicans will make the playoffs
Making the Western conference playoffs is tough. Throughout the years, there have been teams with great records that missed the playoffs. The Pelicans know firsthand how tough it is. It’s why they aggressively pursued Lowry in free agency. They needed another playmaker to ease the responsibilities of Ingram and Zion. Now, they will have to depend on newcomer Graham to help with that. While the roster is decent overall, they still need another piece. But for now, I’ll say they don’t make the playoffs with the current roster.
Verdict: Fiction, Pelicans will not make the playoffs
Nickeil Alexander-Walker will be named Most Improved Player finalist
I’m sure most Pelicans fans are unhappy with the team losing Ball. It surely hurts from a trade asset perspective. But if there’s one player who’s happy it’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker. With Ball gone, Alexander-Walker has a huge opportunity in front of him. While the Pelicans have added a few guards, the position is Alexander-Walker’s to lose. Last season, he’s shown some flashes of potential whenever he received minutes. One of the games that immediately sticks out is his 37 points against the Los Angeles Clippers. With an expanded role, Alexander-Walker has the opportunity to become a Most Improved Player finalist.
Verdict: Fact, Alexander-Walker will be named Most Improved Player finalist
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