Injuries aside, the Pelicans have tried to build a contender around Anthony Davis, comprised of players like Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, and Eric Gordon. Their efforts have not worked out. The Pelicans may try to use Brow as a carrot to set their sights higher, and there may be a lot of player movement in New Orleans.
So who from the Pelicans is on the market?
Ryan Anderson: Anderson is overrated, and that cannot be sugarcoated. Fans love the three ball. Bloggers love stretch fours. Anderson is a nice guy. He’s dealt with a lot in his personal life. For Nets fans, he was once here. In theory, he is the prototypical stretch 4. All of that, together, conspires to inflate Anderson’s value. Anderson cannot defend, and even Anthony Davis has been unable to mask that deficiency. The Pelicans are poorly run, but it says a lot that they paid Ajinca and Asik all the money they did, despite having Anderson up front with Brow. Anderson, also, is poised to command an enormous deal. Do you want to pay Ryan Anderson $16-$18 million to play next to Brook Lopez up front. If you don’t, then you don’t want him, because that is what he will command.
Eric Gordon: Players who play at big college programs tend to become overrated at the NBA level, and Gordon is no different. Gordon is 27 years old now, and, facts being facts, has been a massive disappointment in New Orleans. He is also, of concern, in his prime, not approaching it. Is he worth $15 million per year as he ages into his thirties? Because that is what he will command this summer. While Lopez and Young are solid – and both clearly better than Gordon – at some point, there are diminishing roster returns in paying non superstars – do the Nets want to give Gordon $15 million per, on this roster? I would pass on him.
Bryce Dejean-Jones: Dejean-Jones, a young player who thrived in the D-League before being called up, is the precise type of piece the Nets should be looking at. The Pelicans have him under deal on a nonguaranteed $875,000, so he likely will not be available, but the Nets should look at him if he is. He thrived on a ten day deal for the Pelicans and turned it into a future salary commitment.
Kendrick Perkins: It’s inexplicable, but good players like him, even though he provides so little on court value. He could be a veteran to look at . . . as long as the next head coach does not give him actual playing time.
Norris Cole: Cole is yet another overrated Pelican. He thrived very early as a rookie in Miami and played on title winners in Miami, which conspire in his case to render him overrated. Cole has done little in New Orleans, and, at 27, is older than one may think.
Toney Douglas: Signing Toney Douglas for a year like this, and signing Sean Kilpatrick, is the difference between Billy King and Sean Marks. Both clearly recognize that with spending power low, the only thing the Nets could do this year would be to add small salaried players and hope they perform. However, Marks focused, rather than on fan recognition, on youth with upside, regardless on the extent to which the names were known. Billy, in signing names people could put a face to, like Shane Larkin or Thomas Robinson (or a former Knick in Toney Douglas, perhaps), focused on pieces that the fan base could get behind, to try to boost interest in a lost year. Douglas is not what the Nets need. The Pelicans have a small team option.
Luke Babbitt: No offense, but it one wonders why the Pelicans have Anthony Davis yet are not good, the simple answer to their curiosity is to look at some of these names. The Pelicans have a team option. But given the level of player and age bracket of Babbitt, that matters little to Brooklyn.
Alonzo Gee: At this point in Gee’s career, we know what he is. And what that is, is a fringe NBA player. He is also 28 years old. If the Nets look to add fringe players this summer, those players should be young, with the potential to take a step forward (think Sean Kilpatrick), rather than recognizable older names. Gee has a player option as well.
Orlando Johnson: Pushing his late 20s and yet to take a step forward, I would bet on Johnson being out of the league next year. The Nets should look at other options.
There is not much here for the Nets to look at. While the Pelicans have Jrue Holiday, they have Brow, Ajinca, and Asik under contract and perhaps try to keep Ryan Anderson – they simply have no spot available for Lopez or Young.