The Pelicans were ravaged by injuries last season: Jrue Holiday played 34 games, Ryan Anderson 22, Eric Gordon 64, and even Anthony Davis missed 15 games.
This season, if they can stay healthy the Pelicans are a playoff team in the West.
Which is why this note from GM Dell Demps, via Nakia Hogan of the Times-Picayune, is a good sign.
The Pelicans are a team on the rise that had a great off-season. They have the fastest rising star in the NBA in Anthony Davis, a guy primed to breakout into the public consciousness using Team USA this summer as the springboard. Within a couple years he’ll be the third best player in the NBA.
But New Orleans needed a real center to pair with him, so they went and got Omer Asik from the Rockets during Houston’s “clear out the cap space” sale. He is a perfect fit next to Davis and may give New Orleans the best defensive front line in the NBA. Then they can bring Anderson, one of the game’s best stretch fours, off the bench (Davis and Anderson had crazy good +/- numbers when paired last season).
Then if the Holiday/Gordon backcourt steps up and Tyreke Evans can give them anything, you’ve really got something.
Something that will start with a trip to the playoffs next season.
LeBron James was dominant — the clear best player on the planet — when the Cleveland Cavaliers needed him most. That’s the reason Cleveland got its first major sports title in 52 years.
It’s the dead part of the NBA season — training camps don’t even open for a month — so why not enjoy a look back at LeBron’s amazing run to a legacy-defining NBA ring. Like you don’t have 15 minutes for this. What are you going to do, watch more preseason football?
It’s a summer tradition — tall NBA players swatting away the shots of young kids at camps/clinics.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid has yet to step on an NBA court — this fall, finally? — but he is part of the youth tradition now, destroying this young man at the Sixers Beach Bash event Saturday.
This summer Embiid has arm wrestled Justin Bieber and looked good working out in an empty gym, and to add to that list here is Embiid overpowering an average guy at Beach Bash then throwing it down. The man at least provided a little more resistance than a chair.
Despite the Warriors’ loss in the Finals, it’s been a good summer for Harrison Barnes. He signed a four-year, $94 million deal in Dallas and won a gold medal with Team USA at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. And maybe best of all, he got engaged on Saturday night, as he revealed on Twitter:
Congrats to Barnes and his new fiancée.
Shortly after winning a title with the Cleveland Cavaliers, veteran guard Mo Williams picked up his $2.2 million option for next season, choosing to take the guaranteed money on the table for him rather than test free agency at age 33. But he might not be with the Cavs this season — the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Joe Vardon reports that Williams is considering retiring from playing due to lingering knee problems, and the Cavaliers could waive him under the stretch provision in the coming days.
Williams, 33, a 13-year veteran and former All-Star who played a supporting role in the Cavs’ 2016 NBA championship, is strongly considering retirement, multiple sources told cleveland.com.
From Williams’ side of this, he battled a left-knee issue for most of last season while playing in just 41 regular-season games, as his playing time dwindled once Irving returned from knee surgery and the coaching staff chose to stick with Matthew Dellavedova as Irving’s backup.
Sources said his balky knee, desire to coach — especially younger players and children — and the obvious chance to go out as a champion are weighing heavily upon him.
Vardon reports that the Cavs are considering stretching him before the August 31 deadline, but are holding off for now because they want to leave open the possibility of a trade with another team to take on his salary. Either way, it looks as though Williams is done after 13 seasons in the NBA.