The New Orleans Pelicans are trying to speed up their rebuilding process through trades and after acquiring point guard Tyreke Evans from the Kings, the team feels it has someone as skilled as when they had Chris Paul leading the way.
The Pelicans deal for Evans became official after the moratorium was lifted and Evans came over with second-round draft choice Jeff Withey in a three team trade with the Blazers and Kings. Evans was thrilled to get out of Sacramento, while the Hornets shipped Robin Lopez and guard Terrel Harris to Portland and then sent guard Greivis Vasquez to the Kings in the trade. The team has not been quiet about their moves in the offseason and they continued to work this week, signing enter Greg Stiemsma from the Timberwolves. The team also brought back small forward Al-Farouq Aminu and signed guard Anthony Morrow, giving Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers some solid veteran help on their roster. After he was waived by the Bobcats, Tyrus Thomas has been rumored to be a target as a free agent.
The team also made a other big deal for Jrue Holiday, shipping draft pick Nerlens Noel to the Sixers for him, although the deal has been held up since Evans is on his honeymoon. Pelicans general manager Dell Demps spoke about bringing in Evans and Withey in the deal and said that the team is very excited and that they both will help with the turnaround of the team into a contender. Stiemsma will be a solid addition after losing Lopez, as he averaged 3.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in about 15 minutes per game last season.
Morrow will be a good shooter from the outside, as he has hit over 40 percent from beyond the arc and once they add Holliday, the team will be even stronger. Stiemsma will give the team more depth and he has been improving since starting his career in Boston, playing in 79 games last season for the Wolves and starting 13 during that stretch and he is a clutch shot blocker down low in the post. The team also likes what they have in Morrow, as he averaged 13 points per game in his second season and they feel like he can get back to that after stints with New Jersey, Atlanta and Dallas.
To make the moves, the Pelicans had to waive Lance Thomas and renounced their rights to forward Lou Amundson, and guards Xavier Henry and Roger Mason Jr., all of whom played reserve roles for the team. Thomas had 19 starts over 101 games for the team and averaged 2.5 points and 1.9 rebounds in 59 games last season. The additions of Evans and Holiday make the Pelicans an interesting team and they could battle for one of the bottom playoff spots in the West next season. Morrow averaged 4.0 points last season with the Hawks and Mavericks and he will add some solid scoring off the bench after the 27-year-old spent time with the Warriors and Nets previously. His biggest strength will be from long range and he will give some depth for the Pelicans as well.