A look at the key offseason moves and changes for every team in the league. Next up are the New Orleans Pelicans.
Making up for recent drafts
The Pelicans, who haven’t had a first-round pick since taking Anthony Davis in 2012, changed that trend in June.
In drafting Buddy Hield in the first round and Chieck Diallo early in the second, New Orleans took two players who went in opposite directions in their college careers.
Hield, a 22-year-old senior who was the 2016 Naismith Player of the Year, went to Oklahoma under the radar but developed to become the best shooter in college basketball.
Hield, like most rookies, will find the transition challenging during his first year and will likely play a role coming off the bench this season.
Diallo, one of the most sought after recruits in the nation, struggled his first season at Kansas.
A consensus lottery pick before the season, the 19-year-old didn’t play much at Kansas.
Diallo has a strong upside and plays hard, and could reward New Orleans with lottery level talent if developed properly.
Versatility with question marks
In a league that has seen the style of play focus on interchangeable lineups, New Orleans made a concerted effort to build its roster with versatility.
With Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson no longer on the Pelicans, New Orleans took the money freed up once their cap holds were renounced and hit the free-agent market.
Though the plan was sound, the signings of Solomon Hill, E’Twaun Moore, Langston Galloway and Tim Frazier come with question marks and a steep price tag.
Although Hill is coming off a strong playoff series in April against Toronto, the 25-year-old did not have his fourth-year rookie option picked up by the Pacers. He has been inconsistent and has played sporadic minutes since being drafted in 2013.
Now with a $48 million contract, it will be interesting to see how Hill performs.
1. Anthony Davis $22,116,750
2. Jrue Holiday $11,286,518
3. Solomon Hill $11,241,218
4. Tyreke Evans $10,203,755
5. Omer Asik $9,904,494
6. E’Twaun Moore $8,081,363
7. Langston Galloway $5,200,000
8. Alexis Ajinca $4,563,203
9. Quincy Pondexter $3,617,978
10. Buddy Hield $3,517,200
11. Dante Cunningham $2,978,250
12. Tim Frazier $2,090,000
13. Alonzo Gee $1,400,000
14. Terrence Jones $980,431
15. Cheick Diallo $543,471
16. Chris Copeland $980,431
17. Robert Sacre $980,431
18. Shawn Dawson $543,471
Salary table 2016
Guaranteed salaries $97,724,631
Dead money $0
Tax variance $436,960
Free-agent cap holds $0
Incomplete roster charge $0
Salaries: cap $100,228,964
Salaries: tax $100,665,924
Salary cap $94,143,000
Luxury tax $113,287,000
Cap space None ($6,085,964 over)
Tax room $12,621,076
It was all about timing for New Orleans during the first few weeks of free agency.
The Pelicans ended June without cap space but started free agency with roughly $24 million in space once the large holds of Anderson and Gordon were removed.
The room created was used to sign Hill, Moore, Gee, Galloway and Diallo.
Tim Frazier was signed with part of the room mid-level exception.
Free agents signed in the offseason cannot be traded until either Dec. 15, Jan. 15 or for three months if they signed after Sept. 15.
Hill, Moore, Galloway, Frazier, Jones, Gee, Copeland, Sacre and Dawson cannot be traded until Dec. 15.
Gee also falls under the one-year Bird restriction and cannot be traded without his consent. If Gee approves a trade, his Bird rights will not carry to his new team
Davis (15 percent) and Tyreke Evans ($1 million) have trade bonuses in their contracts.
Davis, signed to a max contract, would see his bonus voided if he were traded.
The value of a trade bonus cannot exceed the maximum salary in a contract.
The Pelicans, currently over the cap, can extend (not renegotiate) the contracts of Jrue Holiday and Evans.
Holiday, one of the top point guards in next summer’s free-agent class, can have an additional three seasons added to his contract with a salary of $12.1 million for next season. Holiday, if healthy, would likely see that salary increase if he were to bypass extension talks.
Evans is coming off right knee surgery and likely isn’t a candidate for an extension.
Starter Bench Bench
PG Jrue Holiday Langston Galloway Tim Frazier
SG E’Twaun Moore Buddy Hield Alonzo Gee
SF Solomon Hill Quincy Pondexter Tyreke Evans/Shawn Dawson
PF Anthony Davis Dante Cunningham/Terrence Jones Cheick Diallo/Chris Copeland
C Omer Asik Alexis Ajinca Robert Sacre
New Orleans has 15 guaranteed contracts.
Dawson, a camp invite, and Copeland and Sacre are on non-guaranteed contracts.
SNEAK PEEK TO NEXT SUMMER
The Pelicans will have to decide which route to take with their own free agents in Holiday and Evans.
The Pelicans, with $78 million in guaranteed contracts, will not have cap space until decisions are made on Holiday and Evans, who combine for $31 million in cap holds.
Barring a trade to create flexibility, the Pelicans’ off-season will focus on the draft and not free agency.
KEEP AN EYE ON
The weeks leading to training camp
Unlike last season, when Alvin Gentry inherited a roster that lost in the first round to Golden State, this season presents a clean slate with half the roster filled with new players.
Gentry now faces the challenge of implementing his philosophy to a new group of players.
Though training camp is still weeks away, how the current roster and staff prepare before camp begins in late September could have a major impact on this season.
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