The New Orleans Pelicans decided to bring back Alonzo Gee several days ago, signing him to a 1-year contract for reportedly the veteran minimum. His addition to the roster brings the total number of players to 15.
As mentioned previously, Gee appears a good fit for the new, desired culture. His strengths include an ability to provide robust defense and bring a strong work ethic to games, practices and everything in between.
Have a look at how several of the writers graded what might be the Pelicans final addition to the roster before the start of the preseason.
The Pelicans resigning Alonzo Gee was inevitable in my eyes. He had a decent outing last season with a few notable games, including an 18 point, 8 rebound loss to the Toronto Raptors on March 26th.
Gee provides an athletic body that can matchup defensively with most small forwards and some power forwards. He will be yet another capable player off the bench, which leads me to believe that this season will be a significant improvement from 2016.
If it were an acceptable grade in our classic letter-based system I'd give this a, "meh." I'm not trying to hate on Alonzo Gee, as he is a superb athlete and great defender. However, at this point in his career we know he is completely one dimensional — he can be counted on to shutdown a player on a hot streak or to help preserve a lead. Though, we all know that the opposition can just go 5 on 4 when we are on offense.
His role would be more important had we not just signed a slew of versatile defenders. Gee costs basically nothing, so it is a good bargain, but I'd have preferred having a more developmental guy at the last roster spot like a Jarnell Stokes or any other Summer League/D-League standout in hopes of finding a gem.
The ultimate "meh" signing. It doesn't move the needle either way, but at this point in the summer you can't expect much more than that. I'd guess his deal is only partially guaranteed so if some rook beats him out in camp he can still be cut or traded.
On the bright side, Gee's role will likely be as an end of the bench guy, which is much more suited to his skill level. He's a solid locker room guy with with a good work ethic which fits in with what the Pelicans have been doing all off-season.
I had the faintest hope that the Pelicans would try someone younger with the potential for growth in the coming years. Dell Demps has come into the season with an open roster spot more often than not to make New Orleans appealing to players trying to secure an NBA contract.
That will be a more difficult proposition unless another transaction is on the way. On the plus side, he's a solid defender and good friends with Anthony Davis. If he remains on the fringes of the rotation, this signing grades as no harm, no foul. But, that last roster spot could have gone to a younger player in development... Say an undrafted rookie like Jarrod Uthoff who recently signed on with the Toronto Raptors.
Unlike Terrence Jones, who I have an A thanks in large part to his age and upside, Alonzo Gee has little growth opportunity at this point in the NBA. Giving Gee a C might seem harsh, especially for the 15th roster spot. I just hoped for a little more imagination.
Alonzo Gee has spent 7 seasons in the league, so at age 29, he is what he is. However, I feel too many people have exclusively focused on his offense, giving little credence to his defensive abilities, locker room presence and need on the roster.
Dante Cunningham is better suited at power forward, and the returns of Quincy Pondexter and Tyreke Evans both remain very much up in the air. Outside of Solomon Hill, who else can be penciled in right now to provide as many minutes as necessary at the 3?
Gee has spent a year under the combination of Alvin Gentry and Darren Erman and is close to the team’s resident superstar. With so many fresh faces who are on the younger side and two rookies, Buddy Hield and Cheick Diallo, joining the fray, I feel the Gee signing was a smart one by the front office.
Alonzo Gee is coming off a season in which he was asked to do more than originally planned. His flaws became evident with the large allotment of minutes as he doesn’t give a team much on the floor besides solid defense. However, he is very close to Anthony Davis, so for that reason I'm good with it.