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Roundtable #9: Pelicans 2014-15 Season Recap Part V

Time to look forward, where do the Pelicans go from here?

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

What is your outlook on the direction of this franchise? (Try to stick more to what was accomplished this year than go GM dreaming about the summer)

Oleh Kosel: The arrow continues to point firmly upwards. The team's winning percentages confirm this notion: 32.9%, 41.5% and 54.9% in 2014-15. Health and continuity appear to be the team's biggest issues rather than some need to address something more problematic such as a gaping roster hole or questionable coaching dilemma.

David Fisher: Injury luck has to break their way eventually, right? Right? That is what all this comes down to for me. If the team can get healthy this summer and have the kind of luck contending teams do with injuries they might challenge for home court in the first round. If we get the third act of this perverse game of injury roulette there is no telling where the team ends up.

Quentin Haynes: I’m starting to lean with the status quo. It’s something ESPN’s Marc Stein alluded to in his summer scoop piece, so I’ll trust the insider on that one. That said, I think the Pelicans should consider a trade of one of their high salary guys and a coaching change. As always, nothing against Monty Williams, but I think a better head coach could make the roster better, or at least use it better. I don’t think the Pelicans will trade anyone, but to open up space to acquire defenders? I think I would consider it. If you can keep your starters in place (Holiday, Gordon, Pondexter, Anderson, Davis), I would consider a move to possibly add a better defender or two in the mix.

As for mid-level guys, I think someone like Boston's Jae Crowder, Cleveland's Iman Shumpert and Oklahoma City's Kyle Singler are interesting names. On a lower level, Golden State's Justin Holiday, New York's Quincy Acy, Washington's Garrett Temple, Los Angeles' Wayne Ellington are a couple guys I would have some level of interest in.

Zachary Junda: My outlook on the franchise is this: for maybe the first time ever, and I know that's possibly hyperbolic on my part, professional basketball seems to matter to the state of Louisiana. The renaissance that this franchise is undergoing right before our eyes is finally starting to yield results. There was the new ownership committed to keeping the franchise in New Orleans, the renaming of both the team and the arena, the ever important TV deal with Fox Sports and of course a legit star. All that was missing was a team that had the on-court success and that's finally presenting itself. I was at Game Four and people were still scarred from the disaster that was Game Three. And that's a good thing because that says they care and they were honestly hurt by that game. The Pelicans will probably never mean more to New Orleans than the Saints, but now that we can see the light at the end of the Drew Brees-era tunnel, why can't the budding megastar that is Anthony Davis take control of the city for the next decade?

Kevin Barrios: We have a young nucleus of talented players. We also have a young head coach with some real strengths and some glaring weaknesses. We have a GM who has been able to stockpile parts with great limitations. If we can finally get a break in the DNP column and our coach can grow into a better game manager our future is very bright. If AD and just one of Evans, Gordon or Holiday stay healthy and Monty stays at his current level, we will still be a winning basketball team. Now we see if we can make that leap from good to great. Some of it is on the players, some on the coach, but a lot is just going to be health. I'm ready to get started. Is it October yet?

Isaac Constans: The future is gleaming. Anthony Davis has gotten redunkulously better over the course of the past two years and continued to do so over the course of the season. For a 22-year-old kid to get double teamed every time he's in the post, be manned on every pick-and-roll, and still accumulate his historic averages is unlike anything we've seen recently. He's 22, by the way. He's going to get better, somehow. The team itself took huge strides as well, with Eric Gordon proving his worth. Tyreke Evans also flashed why he was rookie of the year, improving his scoring average and posting career highs in assists and rebounds. Although the Pelicans need one more piece to talk titles, and that's all they need. With a healthy team, the Pelicans just need time to develop and gel. With the expanding salary cap, it should not be too hard to add one more big player. The Pelicans are still a great young team, and now have playoff experience. It's a good time to be a Pelicans fan, and it's only going to get better.

Chris Cucchiara: The Pels are an up and coming franchise. Hopefully they are the next OKC Thunder (sand the injuries) who can rattle off 55-60 win seasons year after year. Often we see teams that look like the new young team (Hornets in 2007-08) only to never reach elite status multiple seasons. This is different. AD is a different player than CP3. I believe AD will do what CP3 wasn't able to do, bring some elite talent to NOLA.

Nico Baguio: I'm not going to live in the moment and say the future is bright. AD's future looks bright -- that's about it. Tyreke's flaws were E-E-E-xposed in the playoffs but I love his fortitude -- his heart, just to sound cliche. Jrue and Ryno have big question marks over their head (injury concerns), Gordon has been redflagged as "injury-prone" despite having his healthiest season in YEARS. Asik is Asik. The playoff series with GSW showed me (and hopefully the front office) that this roster is, although talented, far from being a complete fit. Positional flexibility is key in the playoffs. AD and Jrue give us that. That's it, everyone's a specialist -- Tyreke, Gordon, Ryno, Asik. We need that *one* last BUT big, flexible piece moving forward. Someone in the mold of the Kawhi/Butler/George-lite.

Outlook? Wary but looking good.

Matt Robinson: The only way is up, and I don't expect the Pelicans to miss the playoffs for the foreseeable future. I think moving up to the 5-7th seed next year should be the aspiration. The long term core isn't fully assembled yet, but expect that to change when Dell makes a splash in 2016.

Jamile Dunn: If the Pelicans were a stock I would sell everything I own and buy as much as I could. The franchise is in excellent position going forward. Dell was masterful this season turning Austin Rivers and John Salmons into Quincy Pondexter and Norris Cole. Dante Cunningham was also plucked off the street for nothing. All three players have a chance to be long term reserves for this squad as they add the experience, winning attitude, and veteran moxy that the stars on this team lack. The Pels are only a couple 3/D wing players away from being legit contenders in the West. It will be interesting to see what direction the Pelicans Brass goes this season. First we'll find out if the franchise will make a real commitment to Monty and/or Dell. Thus far it's been one long test drive. Once that is resolved the real fun will start. Hold onto your butts Pels fans, it gonna be a fun ride.

Kyle Gahagan: My outlook for this franchise going forward, based on historical precedence, is a continued trend of success. Each of the past three years, we've been able to increase our win-loss record, thanks in part to the emergence of a perennial All-Star in Anthony Davis. After we're able to lock him up for the long term soon, I expect us to be competing for the next decade with the best of the best in the league. If this year tells us anything, it's that we're able to find marginal success with a hodgepodge of guys due to injury. Therefore, if the Pels can stay healthy, I only expect us to continue their winning ways in excess of their accomplishments in the 2014-15 season.