Today the Pelicans were supposed to have a media availability with the team’s newest free agent signees: Langston Galloway, Solomon Hill and E’Twaun Moore. As of an hour ago, the availability was called off for undisclosed reasons, though the logical one is Luke Babbitt needs to pass his physical with Miami, thus taking him off the Pelican books and making New Orleans’ free agent signings officially official. Or maybe a super rare Pokemon like Articuno appeared somewhere on Airline Drive and Dell Demps is trying to catch it. Probably some combination of the two.
Fortunately, I am a journalist. Or...something. I have a journalism degree at least. And I used the skills and knowledge I gained to...send an email. Yeah, journalism. I reached out to my buddy in Chicago, Ricky O’Donnell from BlogABull to get you, the Pelican fans, a better idea of who E’Twaun Moore is. Hey when I called Ricky “my buddy in Chicago” does it make me sound like the PawnStars guy? I hope so. What was I talking about? Oh right, the interview. Anyway, until the Pelicans have their media availability, here’s hoping Ricky and I’s talk gives you your fix.
When we talked in March, you specifically said keeping E’Twaun Moore should be a priority for Chicago this offseason. Now he’s here in New Orleans. Are you okay, do you need a hug?:(
I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty bummed out about the Bulls losing E'Twaun. He might have been the only uplifting part of an otherwise huge bummer of a season. This is a dude who couldn't get onto the floor during Tom Thibodeau's last year in 2014-15 (all while Kirk Hinrich was playing 25 minutes per game, for some reason). He never had anything handed to him. But when he got an opportunity, he always made the most of it. He's an easy player to root for and I think y'all will like him.
I read your piece and the ensuing comments about Moore leaving on BlogABull. Wow you guys really aren’t happy. Is New Orleans really getting that valuable a player?
He's solid for a few different reasons. The first is his defense. He's probably only an average (maybe slightly below average) NBA athlete, but he's worked to turn himself into a quality defender. He has long arms (6'9 wingspan), he understands help concepts and he really, really competes. I think he was the second best perimeter on the Bulls last year next to Jimmy Butler.
He also worked his way into being a great three-point shooter last year. You can't argue with 45 percent from three.
Finally, he has some versatility. He's probably best off the ball but he can play point guard in a pinch. He's mostly a three-and-D type but he can also get you buckets if you need him. He's just a smart player and hard worker and has a skill set that fits nicely into the league.
Is he great? Nah, but he brings a lot to the table without taking anything off of it. I'd recommend Pelicans fans read this piece by Blog-a-Bull's Stephen Noh last year titled "E'Twaun Moore is playing like Tony Allen with a jump shot".
So what is a reasonable expectation for Moore in New Orleans this upcoming season?
I think he's a guy who can fill in the cracks. Need three-point shooting and tough defense from the two-guard spot? He can do that. Need a backup point guard who can defend his position, hit a spot up jump shot and won't make too many mistakes? He can do that, too. I'd expect him to not be a major liability in any area while contributing a little bit across the board.
Last season Moore's three point shot was the most reliable it's ever been in his career. Is that figure, 45 percent on 104 attempts, an anomaly or has it become a legitimate weapon in his arsenal?
I guess that's the $34 million question. He's typically been about a 35 percent shooter in the NBA before last year, but he did have two seasons at 40 percent or above in college. I don't think he's a guy who is gonna be hitting them off the dribble, but he has a nice stroke in catch-and-shoot situations. Hitting 45 percent again is probably unreasonable but I think you can safely project him at least in the high 30s.
Perimeter defense is an area the Pelicans have been sorely lacking in the past three years or so. Can Moore help the Pelicans in this department?
For sure. Like I said, he's not super fast but he's long, smart and tries hard. One thing to watch for is how he's really tough to screen. He's great at fighting over or through screens. Ideally he'll be able to teach Buddy Hield some pointers on that end.
What's the best case scenario New Orleans can hope for with the addition of E'Twaun Moore over the course of these next four seasons?
Solid role player. Someone who brings some shooting and some defense and will be low maintenance in the locker room. He's just a professional. New Orleans has needed some shooters and perimeter defenders around Anthony Davis for a while now. E'Twaun was a solid bargain buy.