Last week, I took a look at some potential NBA wing players that Dell Demps could get in free agency for the veteran minimum. This morning Dell Demps finally made a move by signing Alonzo Gee to a 2 yr./$2.75 M deal. That deal includes a player option for the second year.
Even with the recent signing of Alonzo Gee, there are a few spots left open on the roster. Depending on how the rest of free agency shakes out, the Pelicans could have as many as three roster spots remaining. However, assuming/praying Norris Cole returns, the Pelicans active roster spots will be full, and the Pelicans will be 12 deep. There will still be (up-to) two inactive roster spots up for grabs. If Jeff Withey resigns, the Pelicans will have hit the roster minimum of 13 players, but may still fill the 14th roster spot.
In the past, Dell has made valuable additions to the roster based on summer league play. (see Brian Roberts). For that reason, and because Summer League is upon us, I took a look at the three wings on the Pelicans' Summer League roster. (Note I wrote most of this before the Alonzo Gee signing today so keep that in mind.)
- Fuquan Edwin: If any player makes the roster, the hot money would be on Fuquan in my opinion. Fuquan has the right connections, and he played under recently added assistant-coach Phil Weber last year in the D-League. He also has some chemistry with a PG on the Summer League roster, Larry Drew II, who played on the same team as Fuquan in the D-League. Most importantly, he plays at a position of need, SF. Beyond having all the right conditions to make the team, Fuquan also has a valuable skill set, he is a knock down shooter. Last year on the D-League affiliate Sky Force, Fuquan shot 46% from the field and 40% on three pointers. Don't get too excited, but there are even murmurs amongst D-League aficionados that Fuquan could be the next Danny Green. However, Fuquan lacks supreme athleticism and the build to play the three position in the NBA. Fuquan is skinny at only 207 pounds and measures in at only 6' 6". Still, if Fuquan can prove during summer league that he is capable of doing more than just shooting the ball, he could quickly find himself on an NBA roster.
- Jordan Aboudou: If Fuquan Edwin is the most exciting player on the roster, than Jordan Aboudou is the most intriguing. Aboudou plays internationally in France for Chalon, hence, there isn't a ton of high quality footage to watch of him. Just from watching his highlight videos, he has a great frame for a SF. I also love his court court vision. If Aboudou makes this team, or any NBA team for that matter, it will be because he knows how to cut to the (bleeping) basket, something no Pelican player knew how to do until Dell traded for Quincy Pondexter last year. He has shot in the low 30% in his best Euro League seasons, but more commonly shoots between 25-30%. That will likely keep him off the roster.
- Victor Rudd: Potential. Potential. Potential. The guy just has potential. He has the things you cannot teach a player: 6' 9" height, 235 pounds, and is a FREAK athlete. Victor Rudd will dunk on your head, but . . . his handles leave something to be desired, and it's hard to play in the league when you don't have competent dribbling skills. Whatever, he will be super fun to watch during the summer league if he gets some playing time. Best case scenario for Rudd is that Dell Demps takes an interest and sends him to Turkey to develop a little bit. Maybe we will see him again in two years with more proficient handles and passing skills.