The Pelicans have the guy they think will develop into a franchise anchor in the paint in Anthony Davis (who flew under the radar this year but showed the signs of being a very special player in a couple years). But you can’t succeed in the NBA on the inside without some balance on the outside. Say, a good point guard.
Sources say the Pelicans like Burke because he has the potential to get them in their offensive sets quicker and he could provide more versatility in their backcourt that could include starting point guard Greivis Vasquez playing off the ball.
Burke is someone more ready to play now then most of the guys in this draft — he is a good point guard off the pick-and-roll, both as a scorer and a creator for others. He’s not going to be an NBA star, but ask Memphis how well you can do with a smart, quality point guard surrounded by good players.
We are a long way from the draft — the Pelicans haven’t even started working players out yet. Things will shift. The Pelicans could trade down, a team above them could decide Burke is their guy.
One thing that this suggests (but that we already suspected) — New Orleans isn’t looking at Austin Rivers as a long-term answer.
With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.
The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.
And so the search goes on.
The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.
With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.
Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker