The New Orleans Pelicans have been active during the off-season. The team made several notable trades and free agency signings to build on their young core. The objective is to give young superstar Zion Williamson all the help he needs to bring the team success. For the Pelicans, Steven Adams is part of that help.
The Pelicans signed Stan Van Gundy to be the new head coach for the team. Additionally, they re-signed Brandon Ingram on a max deal after a breakout season. They also acquired new players. They traded Jrue Holiday to the Bucks as part of a four-team trade and received Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams in return. The team even signed center Willy Hernangomez to a minimum deal to serve as a backup.
While the Pelicans lost significant players such as Holiday, Jahlil Okafor, and Derrick Favors, they have compensated with trades and free agency signings.
The Pelicans have a new-look roster, while still maintaining their exciting young core of Zion, Ingram, and Lonzo Ball. Their hope will be that Zion will find the players around him adequate to help him lead them to the playoffs.
The Pelicans have been fortunate to have Zion Williamson come in, just as former franchise player Anthony Davis left to join the Lakers. But they will have to prove to Zion that he can win an NBA championship with them, because he may want to leave to a better team if they can’t do so.
There are questions surrounding the Pelicans’ recent signings and acquisitions. Many wonder why Steven Adams was traded, given that the Pelicans don’t have any legitimate three-point shooters other than Brandon Ingram and JJ Reddick.
NBA analysts John Hollinger and Nate Duncan spoke about the Pelicans on their NBA show podcast. Both analysts critiqued the Steven Adams trade, as it did little to address the Pelicans’ concerns.
Duncan said, “I thought the Steven Adams (trade) was absolutely asinine.” To this, Hollinger retorted, “I completely agree, A. why are you giving up a first and two seconds for almost any 5 in the NBA B. you’re playing *this* guy next to Zion? You already have no shooting.”
It will be interesting to see how Adams fairs with Zion and the Pelicans this season. The two will take the court together when the new NBA season begins on December 22, 2020.
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