Iman Shumpert’s name is the latest rumor to be connected to the New Orleans Pelicans, but he’s not an obvious candidate to fill the bereft roster. The Cleveland guard has mainly played at the two throughout his career — the Pelicans have five healthy backcourt players, and his contract would infringe upon the 2018-19 cap sheet, which must prioritize some sort of maximum deal to DeMarcus Cousins yet leave enough space for other free agents.
That said, Shumpert is wholly more appealing than any of the three names the Pelicans have been linked to from yesteryear: Martell Webster, Josh Smith and Chase Budinger. One has to go back at least several seasons before finding some evidence of an effective contributor.
Trading away Quincy Pondexter wound up the front office’s solution for the lack of cap space on the roster, but was it the right move? It’s entirely understandable New Orleans wants to avoid carrying any dead weight on future cap sheets, yet the small forward position needs all the help it can muster and this may have included taking another chance on the perpetually injured Pondexter.
Lastly, Kevin, Preston and I touch on Frank Jackson’s injury. Is head team physician Misty Suri partially to blame or does the fault lie completely elsewhere? After all, Jackson did suffer a stress reaction while at Duke so he may just be highly susceptible to these type of injuries.