The New Orleans Pelicans will look vastly different the next time they suit up in a game together. The starting lineup could feature several fresh faces and at first the bench will be even more unrecognizable. With forty percent of the roster reworked, continuity was most definitely not the plan.
However, not all free agents and draft picks are looked upon equally and the same applies here. For any number of reasons, a favorite usually exists. Read below to find out which free agent or draft pick our writers preferred above all others.
Jason: Terrence Jones
As I have said before, Jones is a solid two-way power forward who will take a huge load off of Anthony Davis' shoulders when playing defense in the post. Also, he has already established a rapport with Davis from their championship run at Kentucky.
Think of it like this: Jones is the yin to Ryan Anderson's yang. Where as the dearly departed was a great stretch four but a poor defender and rebounder, Jones has the potential to dominate the glass and defend three positions. His perimeter shot may remain shaky, but Jones possesses a nice touch inside the paint.
Plus, when you sign a friend of Davis' for 1/10th of his market value, it's hard not to love it!
Kevin: Terrence Jones
I'd have to go with Terrence Jones because of the potential for it to work so well at such a low cost if it fails completely. It's also the first real, "I'll sign for nothing to play with Anthony Davis" move we've seen, which is promising a development going forward.
Isaac: Terrence Jones
Are you kidding me?
The Pelicans signed the man who played next to Davis at the University of Kentucky, who can easily throw up a 12 and 6 from off the bench, who can fill the role of a small ball center or an oversized small forward, who can be a top-20 league power forward, who is in a contract year and who has paramount upside for $1 million and pocket change.
In comparison to some of the other free agent signings, say Tyler Johnson's vomit-inducing deal, the Jones move had me bouncing. Jones is versatile, motivated and familiar. He's young and still brimming with potential. He represents a chance to be the perfect fit.
I liked all of the moves, but I think Terrence Jones might have been the steal of the summer, forget for our team alone.
David: Terrence Jones
My favorite move far and away is signing Terrence Jones to the minimum. He's a really good basketball player when healthy and provides a versatility this roster has sorely lacked outside of Anthony Davis. Jones numbers have wavered defensively, but I believe he will be a significant upgrade. All this before taking into account his ridiculously cheap contract.
Quentin: E’Twaun Moore
I think my favorite move this offseason was E’Twaun Moore. He is a nice, underrated player that will hold down the second unit. He is a modest play at point guard, but his value will come from his defensive versatility and outside shooting. I’m typically a fan of these type of additions because of what it will do for every other guard on the roster. He’s a good glue guy who should allow his teammates to concentrate on their strengths.
Oleh: Buddy Hield
As I alluded to yesterday, I’m an enormous fan of the Pelicans offseason as a whole, but if pressed for an answer, Hield would probably top my list for all the accompanying reasons.
- Hield represents the first draft pick to be utilized by the current regime since the 2012 season. This is mightily important to the Pelicans, both from a financial and developmental perspective.
- Hield’s scoring exploits in college will significantly help cover the losses of Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson. Additionally, the Pelicans needed to add a player who will continually punish defenses for collapsing around Anthony Davis.
- Hield’s maturity level will not require a big adjustment window like a Jamal Murray or Dragan Bender. The 2016 Summer League shooting woes should be taken with a grain of salt considering his floor mates in Vegas.
- Hield is extremely versatile for a shooting guard just entering the league. He already possesses a wonderful rebounding prowess and showed a nice comfort level earlier this month with his playmaking abilities.
- For years I’ve questioned the quality and quantity of the leadership on the roster. Hield’s presence automatically boosts this area up a notch or two, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him emerge as one of the main leaders at the conclusion of his rookie season.
Fernando: Tim Frazier
With Tyreke Evans future in question and Jrue Holiday still yet to prove his leg can sustain starter-like minutes over the course of a full season, retaining Tim Frazier was a must. Thanks to the influx of combo guards, I think it will take him a little while to get the minutes he deserves, but by seasons’ end, he should be the top backup to Holiday and maybe more.