Keith Smith of Real GM joined Preston on this edition of TBW’s podcast to talk about the latest Pelicans-related happenings.
The episode kicks off with a focus on Rajon Rondo, and Keith wasn’t surprised it took awhile for an agreement to get done. One word of advice: stop comparing him to Ricky Rubio because Utah’s new guard is at least a step above in terms of positive contributions.
Keith goes on to say that Rondo did not sign in New Orleans to come off the bench; at the same time, it’s not right to call Jrue Holiday a legit shooting guard at the two. Rather, view them both as guards because they should alternate playing off the ball when on the floor together. Dual point guard lineups are where the league is headed!
As far as the potential for any trades, don’t expect any for the Pelicans this late in free agency. A Carmelo Anthony move may still happen, but that would likely be it. Most teams are at the point of just filling out entire rosters.
Keith foresees the Pelicans remaining moves are to sign a player or two to a minimum contract and perhaps what’s left of non-taxpayer MLE if they so choose to go down that road. Had James Young played better in summer league, he might have been an option. Others to keep an eye on: Anthony Morrow, Gerald Green and Alan Anderson.
Troy Daniels could fit into the Buddy Hield trade exception, but it’s much harder to ascertain TPE’s.
One thing Keith was quite positive about: The Pelicans are very unsure about Quincy Pondexter and thus they are primarily focused on adding another shooter on the wing. However, do not expect them to become a luxury tax team in trying to chase anyone in particular.
Keith wraps things up by admitted he’s not the biggest fan of Dante Cunningham. He doesn’t see him as a three and would prefer to see Cheick Diallo earn backup minutes at the 4. That said, Cunningham’s chances are good to return because Donatas Motiejunas will in all likelihood not be back after his poor showing last season.