Player News - Pelicans

Date: Team: Pos:

The Pelicans are close to hiring assistant Chris Finch to their coaching staff.

It's an interesting move for the Pelicans to add the former Nuggets assistant. Finch is somewhat responsible for Nikola Jokic becoming such an amazing offensive weapon and he's also part of the reason the Nuggets offense thrived in the second half. To be fair to Jokic, he's been an incredible passer since his first Summer League, so it's not like Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will transform overnight. Regardless, this is positive news for both the Pelicans bigs.
May 19 - 3:21 PM

James Harden, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis were named to the All-NBA first team.

Not many surprises here with four of the five basically being locks while Rudy Gobert had an outside chance to take the last spot over Davis. Despite going to the locker room more than any player, Davis still managed to play 75 games, averaging 28.0 points, 11.8 boards, 2.1 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.3 steals.
May 18 - 2:07 PM

According to Ian Begley of ESPN, the Mavericks are interested in free agent PG Jrue Holiday.

The Pelicans can offer him more money than any other team and coach Alvin Gentry said their No. 1 priority is to re-sign him, so Begley adds that the Mavs will likely have to clear some cap space to make a competitive offer. Begley also said that the Knicks are fans of the 26-year-old PG, but the length and amount of Holiday's contract could take them out of the running. Holiday averaged 15.4 points, 7.3 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 1.5 steals and 1.5 treys on 45.4 percent shooting and should be able to at least double his salary this summer after making $11.2 million in the final year of his deal.
Source: ESPN
May 18 - 11:24 AM

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said re-signing Jrue Holiday "is a number one priority" this summer.

The unrestricted free agent will be 27 years old in June and is widely expected to at least double his salary this offseason after making $11.2 million in 2016-17. Holiday missed the first 12 games of the season to take care of his family while his wife underwent a successful brain surgery, but he was solid upon his return and finished the campaign with averages of 15.4 points, 7.3 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 1.5 steals and 1.5 treys on 45.4 percent shooting. The Pelicans obviously have two usage rate monsters in Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, so a move away from New Orleans likely wouldn't be a bad thing for his fantasy value.
May 16 - 6:39 PM

Coach Alvin Gentry said one of the Pelicans primary goals this offseason will be improving their outside shooting.

New Orleans' frontcourt, with DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, is obviously their strength. However, Gentry acknowledged that it's also imperative to surround his two stud bigs with shooters that can space the floor. "We’re going to have to be able to knock down perimeter shots. Not necessarily 3-point shots, but we have to make perimeter shots to keep the defense honest," said Gentry. "That’s going to be something we struggled with last year and something we have to improve on in order to make a playoff run."
May 16 - 10:30 AM

Donatas Motiejunas said that he while he would prefer to play in the NBA next season, he would consider returning to Europe as well.

Motiejunas had a nightmare 2016-17 season due to injuries and contract disputes. He is currently suing the Rockets and the NBA over his contract issues. Motiejunas finished the season with the Pelicans but does not believe he is a fit in New Orleans. "[The Pelicans] don't need me, they already have 4-5 big man on the roster for the next season," said Motiejunas. His preferred NBA destinations are San Antonio, Golden State, Utah or Washington.
May 16 - 9:25 AM

The Pelicans will keep head coach Alvin Gentry in place for the 2017-18 season according to The Advocate.

In addition to Gentry, general manager Dell Demps will also keep his job. Gentry has compiled a 64-100 record over the past two years, so the 2017-18 season will likely be his last chance to make the Pelicans relevant again in the West. Gentry is set to represent the Pelicans at the draft lottery on Tuesday which all but confirms this report, but the fact that the franchise haven't publicly commented on the matter isn't very reassuring.
May 15 - 11:58 AM

Donatas Motiejunas is suing the Rockets and the NBA over his contract issues from earlier this season, according to the Sporting News.

According to the Sporting News, a settlement could be reached next week. He sat out the first two months of the season as this issue played out. The Nets offered a four-year, $35 million deal back in December, but the Rockets offered a deal to match. After Motiejunas failed a physical, that negated a trade that would've sent him to Detroit.
May 12 - 5:49 PM

ESPN is reporting that Dante Cunningham plans to decline his player option and become unrestricted free agent this summer.

An unsurprising development, as Cunningham's option for the 2017-18 season was worth only $3.1 million. He appeared in 66 games (including 35 starts) for the Pelicans last season and averaged 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and a career-high 1.1 3-pointers. A reliable and versatile veteran, Cunningham should have plenty of suitors interested in his services come July.
Apr 29 - 1:20 PM

DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) was playing through pain in his sore Achilles in the second half of the season, according to general manager Dell Demps.

Interestingly, Demps said Cousins took himself out of the All-Star Game for that reason -- not the trade rumors. Cousins actually co-existed quite nicely with Anthony Davis from a stat standpoint, especially with how he made 2.1 treys per game with the Pelicans. He'll likely be a second-round pick next year and hopefully he can keep his techs down.
Apr 13 - 4:16 PM

Cheick Diallo said he wants to increase his weight from 228 to 240 pounds this summer.

Can you feel it? You know you're ready for Muscle Watch in April. If you're a fan of contested rebounds, Diallo painted a masterpiece for his career-high 16 boards on Wednesday with several of them coming over multiple Blazers. After looking like he was just a straight-line guy, he's shown much more polish as a scorer, so Diallo's growth heading into his first full NBA offseason is something to watch. He's progressing faster than usual and should be in the rotation next year as Anthony Davis' backup. Cheick back later.
Apr 13 - 3:33 PM

Alexis Ajinca (hand) scored 11 points with seven rebounds and a steal over 25 minutes in Wednesday's win in Portland.

Ajinca suffered a right hand injury in the game, but he toughed it out and was able to finish strong after a brief absence. He seemed to be a player head coach Alvin Gentry liked, at least down the stretch, so he should return as a backup in 2017-18. However, his fantasy appeal remains rather minimal.
Apr 13 - 1:35 AM

Cheick Diallo scored 12 points with a career-high 16 rebounds in Wednesday's 103-100 win against the Trail Blazers.

Diallo finished up strong, as head coach Alvin Gentry used his younger players to put a little pressure on them in game action before the regular season wrapped up. It was the third double-double of Diallo's career, and second in as many games. The former Kansas University standout looked very good and will have a role as a backup in 2017-18. He'll also be worth a look in the final rounds of fantasy leagues.
Apr 13 - 1:31 AM

E'Twaun Moore (ankle) will play against the Blazers on Wednesday.

It's unclear how much he'll play with the Pelicans wanting to get a look at guys like Quinn Cook, Jordan Crawford and Alex Toupane.
Apr 12 - 9:36 PM

E'Twaun Moore (ankle) is probable for Wednesday against the Blazers.

This is a mild surprise after Moore missed the last two games. Jordan Crawford and Quinn Cook have benefited the most in those two, so they both figure to take hits, assuming Moore is good to go. Crawford should still be considered as a solid play for DFS.
Apr 12 - 4:02 PM


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