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The Bird Calls Ep. 29: What if the New Orleans Pelicans exceed expectations?

Many questions remain about this season and beyond.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor and Jamile joined Preston on this edition and the group decided to take a look at possible lineups as well as what possibly lies beyond this season: What if the New Orleans Pelicans manage to catch lightning in a bottle?

Much has been said about the chances of another down year. With all of the one-year deals on the roster, the team would have the ability to go in another direction. Yet, if the script gets flipped, how likely is it the team could bring back most of the friendly contracts? As it stands, the Pelicans have over $90 million committed to seven contributors. If Dell Demps manages to re-sign DeMarcus Cousins, there’s going to be precious little space on the salary cap for a second season in a row, so who stays and who goes?

Jamile assumes Rajon Rondo may sit atop the pecking order, pending of course his ability to mesh with the players and coaching staff over the next eight months. However, players like Ian Clark, Dante Cunningham and Jordan Crawford could be on the move, especially if they post enticing numbers — good shooting will always be a hot commodity.

Getting back to this season, Alvin Gentry will have a lot of flexibility to set lineups around Anthony Davis and Cousins. The trio mention that they would prefer to see Jrue Holiday see additional time alongside Boogie while Rondo gets the privilege of hanging more with the Brow. It makes sense. Cousins could help initiate the offense with Jrue and Davis could pose a bigger threat to opponents with Rondo’s incredible vision taking advantage of all conceivable passing lanes.

One would think New Orleans playing well or certain lineups gelling should be the biggest preseason wish, but we keep it simple around here. Realistically, the Pelicans just need to emerge healthy out of training camp — an accomplishment that has eluded them during the last two seasons. No more Solomon Hill torn hamstring surprises, please!