Bill Simmons talking the New Orleans Pelicans is fun podcasting. Simmons loves talking transactions real, rumored, and purely fictional. Few teams generate better fodder than one built around Anthony Davis. Take one generational talent, toss in a laundry list of trades that have rarely been graded well by the NBA universe, and it is an all-you-can-eat buffet for a talent like Bill Simmons.
Beginning 40 minutes through the podcast Mr. Simmons goes in on the Pelicans organization. You can listen to the whole thing (or just skip to the 40 minute mark) here on Soundcloud.
I would use Ryan Anderson to get rid of that Asik contract. I don't know if that's even possible. I would get rid of Tyreke Evans as fast as I possibly could. I would let Eric Gordon leave.
The reality is they did to Anthony Davis, the same exact thing, Cleveland did to LeBron last decade. Where they tried to build immediately around him. And they made terrible moves. They gave up two lottery picks for Jrue Holiday. They overpaid Tyreke Evans. And they overpaid Asik. They clogged this roster that doesn't make sense. The Gentry hiring, which I thought was going to be a good one because he got to the conference finals almost made the finals, he's been a disaster.
Both Joe House and Bill Simmons are concerned with the Pelicans ability to evaluate talent, and they are hardly alone in that respect.
From my perspective I'm far more concerned with how Dell Demps proceeds from this point in time than rehashing these old arguments over how the team was built. Recent reports surrounding Jeff Van Gundy requiring both the coach and President of Basketball Operations titles catch my eye. Van Gundy was my personal favorite before Gentry was brought on and I would still herald his arrival this spring.
Between now and the draft lottery (and any coaching change) the Pelicans have to navigate the trade deadline which could have long lasting consequences. Will Demps build with the right target date in mind? Information out of the organization suggests they won't.