The New Orleans Pelicans reached an agreement with their third free agent of the offseason yesterday, Langston Galloway. He fits the mold that the front office has made an obvious priority this summer: high character and defense-first role players.
In talking with a few Knicks fans, they are sad to see Galloway leave. He became a fan favorite of many for his defensive chops and Find out The Bird Writes staff opinions of him below!
I like Galloway as a player a lot. He plays good defense and can shoot the three ball at a decent clip. Galloway will provide much needed guard depth. He signed what amounts to a one year deal, so don't get overly attached, but Pelicans should have more than enough cap room to bring him back if he so desires.
I am also a little curious how exactly he fits in to the guard rotation. If Dell is able to move Tyreke for more depth, then I would upgrade this deal to a B+ or A-. As it stands, I'm not sure if Galloway will get enough playing time to make a contribution. Still, if/when the Pelicans guards start to go down with injuries, the Pelicans will be thankful to have him.
How the hell did the Pelicans lose to the Knicks a few seasons ago? They were 6-36, set to duel it out with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers for the first draft pick, and just sucked all around. Yeah, Melo still gave you a dependable 25 or so, but that didn't explain the rest of the letdown for New Orleans, a team striving to (and that eventually would) make the playoffs.
The other villain was Langston Galloway, a seldom-known player from Baton Rouge just trying to accentuate a short stint away from the D-League on an already forsaken roster. Against the Pelicans, in only his fifth game as an NBA player, he dropped 21 points in 30 minutes, with a complete performance in other parts of the game, too. First impressions are important, and my first impression of Langston Galloway was similar to mine of another Knicks point guard with no name recognition who burst onto the scene--Jeremy Lin. Galloway was talented, overlooked, and hungry. Following his second season, I'd say he still is.
In no way am I trying to construe Galloway's signing as a championship move. What I am asserting is that for the Pelicans, a Louisiana native, gritty and fearless, defensive-minded player is as good of a deal as you'll find this offseason. He can score, too. And as much as anything else, bye-bye Norris.
It is hard to judge the move without seeing the figures and the corresponding moves that will need to be made because of the Galloway signing. Saying that, the Pelicans have brought in another hard working, defensive minded player to the team.
The Pelicans should experience quite the culture shock this year as some of the players with less than stellar attitudes and work ethic will not be on the team this season. Is Galloway a homerun? No. But he provides an aspect to the team that was sorely needed.
I want to give this signing a higher grade. I really do. The only thing that keeps me from giving it an A is the duration. A player option on the second year means Galloway is probably a free agent again next summer. New Orleans will not have his Bird Rights, so re-signing him with require cap space. Making this contract at least two years would have been the preferred route.
Now, Langston Galloway the player? Sign me up. A reserve backcourt of Galloway and E'Twaun Moore is going to terrorize opponents. The pace will keep up as Galloway is going to push the ball up the floor at every opportunity. I have some concerns about his shooting inside the arc, but am willing to compromise thanks to Galloway's defense and 3-point range.
A solid B for me. Only the contract length keeps it from being an A.
The Pelicans made another good move to get an experienced wing player who can defend both guard positions. Galloway can space the floor, rebound a bit, and distribute as well.
I've liked the signings the Pelicans have made more and more. Whoever's building this team, Dell, Danny Ferry or the two of them, they're building smart. They're signing young, versatile, two-way players to responsibly priced deals. Besides Galloway's defensive ability, health and his overall good locker room presence, one of the biggest selling points for me is that he's a Louisiana guy who wants to play for his home-state team. The Pelicans now have a glutton of wings so someone's gotta go, I fear it's Frazier yet hope it's Evans, but I think Galloway more than offsets the eventual departure.
Unlike Solomon Hill or E'Twaun Moore, I envision the Pelicans signing of Galloway to be a precursor of what is to come. His short term deal screams stopgap, possibly for Tyreke Evans, Tim Frazier or both for the upcoming season and that's more than fine. At the very worst, one knows they're getting: a valuable rotation player who fits the desired theme and culture.
On the other hand, if Galloway can notably improve the efficiency of his shot -- a big if (3FG% took a nose dive after the All-Star break and showed no improvement overall between his first and second season) -- and fills an important niche in New Orleans, Dell Demps could attempt to sign him to another deal (if Lang opts out of his 2nd year). Yes, this would make his next contract more expensive, but perhaps the Pelicans do not want to gamble now and further burden the future cap. The 2017 free agent class is loaded and the Pelicans could be debating the futures of Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans.
Galloway was another smart signing by the franchise: local Louisiana player, defense-first mentality fits the offseason theme and possesses a decent outside shot. My grade would move up to an A, though, depending on where Tim Frazier and Tyreke Evans end up.