As free agency trudges on from hours into days, there will continue to be rapid changes across the NBA. So much that it may get overwhelming. And if you’re a New Orleans Pelicans fan, you should know exactly what I mean.
No matter what takes place, there will be annoying hot takes, overreactions, and outright chaos being created from everywhere you look. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a three-step guide to surviving what should be an exhausting 2018 NBA Free Agency period because plenty of optimism remains — regardless of New Orleans splash!
Enjoy the now/embrace the positive
This time of year in the NBA brings heartbreak, joy and plenty of drama to go around. Some players have reportedly agreed to contracts, others are likely to sign, and the rest will spend time pondering offers. No matter the circumstance, it’s a fun time to be a basketball fan.
But often in the midst of that, many will tend to dwell on past mistakes, and future endeavors, instead of embracing the now. As a Pelicans fan, your team just finished a glorious season that came greatly unexpected to most. The squad overcame adversity, trial and error, and several casts of misfortune.
By the time the season was over, New Orleans was able to provide a spotlight to talents many had overlooked. They reintroduced the world to Anthony Davis, an all-world superstar, proudly displayed the meteoric rise of Jrue Holiday, and the team as a whole advanced past the quarterfinals of the playoffs in dominating fashion.
The Pelicans have enough assets than most think and a craftsman in General Manager Dell Demps who’s used to playing with small margins of house money.
And, oh yeah, they could have a 6’11, 270lbs monster in DeMarcus Cousins, ready to finish destroying opponents in the Big Easy come sometime next season.
Either way, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but they’re in better position than you probably think. Many will try and rain on your parade with how the rest of the Western Conference has or will improve, but can we at least wait to make sweeping proclamations until free agency is a wrap?
Forget tomorrow, enjoy the now.
Put this in perspective with your everyday life. Other people around you (some strangers) have nice assets that they attain overtime. It’s human nature to think about what your life would be with similar accessories. When doing that, sometimes we miss the things we have in front of us. It makes us take certain elements for granted.
But let’s be positive for a second and also real. You knew in your heart LeBron James wasn’t coming to New Orleans. You also knew that Paul George was more than a long shot. How often do teams actually add an elite free agent?
Don’t let surrounding chatter make you forget about the year Jrue Holiday had. Or your resident superstar in Anthony Davis. Remember the emergence of Nikola Mirotic and “Playoff Rajon Rondo.” The flashes of surprise from E’Twaun Moore or Darius Miller.
You may have rookies ready to prove themselves in Frank Jackson and Tony Carr, and the ever-intriguing prospect, Cheick Diallo, could finally break through.
Throw in Boogie Cousins and a few new faces to round out the roster, you have more to cheer for than you’ve arguably have ever had as a Pelicans supporter.
Demps has proven he’s willing to be aggressive when the right situation presents itself in adding talent. Alvin Gentry and his coaching staff will go to unconventional methods to realize their visions.
All that glitters simply isn’t gold — Love what you have and let the rest of the NBA worry about where they fall.
Don’t let one decision get you too high or too low
It’s crazy how often we let paper-built teams control our emotions. Without seeing a single basketball bounced, future champions or just legitimate playoff contenders are crowned right after July 1st. That’s why it’s important to stay grounded during this time.
No matter what happens, free agency is never about a single move. And as last season showed for the Pelicans, it isn’t about the first week of action.
Last summer, two of the Pelicans most important moves were not announced until well after the Moratorium period had ended. For instance, Rajon Rondo wasn’t signed until two weeks into free agency.
Free agent Rajon Rondo has reached agreement on a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 15, 2017
And Ian Clark? He wasn’t brought in until August.
Free agent Ian Clark has agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 1, 2017
Few correctly figured the important roles they would eventually play on a team who made it into the second round of the playoffs. If they did, neither player would have sat on the market for the duration that each did or signed for the same amounts.
We have made most of this offseason about DeMarcus Cousins and that is fair. Few players exhibit the ability and skills that even Boogie operating at 80 percent can dispense. But if some reports are true, there is a real possibility that Cousins doesn’t return.
DeMarcus Cousins sounds like an increasingly likely target for the Lakers on a short-term max contract now that it appears Los Angeles will lose out on Paul George, per league sources. In January 2017, LeBron James called Cousins "the best big man in our game."— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) July 1, 2018
If he doesn’t, life will go on. One decision can’t break the hopes of the next, no matter the disappointment. The Pelicans would next likely seek an impact wing player as a Boogie departure would almost certainly paint that hole as the new number one objective — if it wasn’t already.
Kanye West would smile at me saying in closing: We don’t have the answers. And no matter how amazing an addition looks or deflating a subtraction feels, October will bring much truer realizations. Stay calm and collected, and don’t get too anxious regardless of the path taken.
Whether this offseason causes you to Boogie, “Reke havoc,” or Bazemore into the Summer League, take it all in stride. Your New Orleans franchise has come a long way, and there’s more hope they will remain relevant — or possibly continue to ascend — as there is of taking a noticeable step back.
Have a happy and safe upcoming 4th of July!