Although Rondo potentially brings the roster to 15 players, remember that four of those contracts are unguaranteed. However, both Jordan Crawford and Quinn Cook feel like locks at this point and reportedly the organization has high expectations for Darius Miller so only Axel Toupane seems easily replaceable.
The problem is that the Pelicans have been interested in adding another shooter following the Miller signing, and I am also of mind they are very eager to find a way to re-sign Dante Cunningham.
Over the last few weeks, Quincy Pondexter has been active on Twitter, regularly posting a #tunnelvision tag. By my count, he’s tweeted this phrase six times and yesterday his message seemed a little louder with the inclusion of the following video.
Hey, the fact that Pondexter is dropping three-pointers from the corner without a miss makes for happy viewing material, but don’t dismiss the surrounding context. By definition, tunnel vision often refers to the loss of peripheral vision, but sometimes the focus is narrowed intentionally so as to block out/spit in the face of the undesirable noise. If QPon’s rehabilitation is coming along great and he’s on track for training camp, why all the recent self propaganda?
I’ll be honest: Pondexter sounds like he’s on some kind of campaign to prove something to the naysayers.
This story should sound familiar because we saw something similar from Tyreke Evans last summer. Instead of Twitter, Evans took to Instagram to get the same message across, and we know how that drama unfolded. The Pelicans tried to trade him last offseason, his regular season didn’t start until the middle of December, and upon his return, he was not able to consistently flash Reke Havoc of old.
Be assured, the Pelicans, who have so much riding on the upcoming season, have no interest of going down that road again if they can help it.
"Still in the process of trying to figure that one out. t's been unfortunate for him. He's a kid who really wants to be on the court."— Rod Walker (@rwalkeradvocate) July 10, 2017
"A very good player and a very important player. So hopefully we'll be in a situation where we can get him back also." Gentry on Pondexter— Rod Walker (@rwalkeradvocate) July 10, 2017
The above quotes are tweeted by Rod Walker in reference to an ESPN interview from July 10th where Alvin Gentry was stuck on hope when talking about Pondexter. That’s disheartening, but it does explain other bits of information.
In a recent Bird Calls podcast, Keith Smith made mention of how the Pelicans are interested in another wing shooter because the organization is very unsure of Pondexter’s immediate future. Smith reiterated this idea in an article yesterday on Real GM.
The Pelicans are worried about their SF depth. “We need another guy. Maybe Q (Quincy Pondexter) can play, but we can’t count on that. Someone is gonna want to get on board.”
“Now, New Orleans still has cap space and I’m told they’ve got something up their sleeve as well when it comes to shooters that are still out there and the potential of picking somebody up."
As Fletcher Mackel broadcasted on social media yesterday, could Luke Babbitt be the target? Despite the Miami Heat owning his Bird Rights, Pat Riley seems inclined to sit tight with 14 players under contract, looking to save Miami’s room exception for a player more valuable than Babbitt.
Let’s assume Solomon Hill is here to stay and the front office expects to see an improved Darius Miller to come to training camp. That would leave Pondexter on the outside looking in, especially if the Pelicans follow through with their plan of adding another perimeter-oriented forward to the roster.
By all indications, this could be New Orleans path because QPon — bless his heart — still remains surrounded by just too many questions.