It would be a mistake to overlook the New Orleans Pelicans this season. No matter how much you may resent the new franchise name, the Pelicans took their first steps toward legitimacy this summer. After drafting Kentucky's Nerlens Noel sixth overall in the NBA Draft, the Pelicans sent Noel and draft picks to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for 23-year-old All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday. Two weeks later they executed a sign-and-trade deal moving Greivis Vasquez for restricted free agent Tyreke Evans, who has been void of progression since his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2009.
Head coach Monty Williams has the most upside on this roster since Chris Paul played for New Orleans, and this team might be better equipped from a collective standpoint. You now have a young, offensively dynamic back court pairing up Holiday with Eric Gordon, and Evans can either supplement that small forward slot or become a wild card off the bench. This new guard rotation for Monty Williams appears volatile because ball distribution doesn't seem too imminent. However, adding more talented guard play only contributes to the cultivation of Anthony Davis, whom most feel is geared for his break out season, and Ryan Anderson is still employed as your three-point specialist. The New Orleans Pelicans have chemistry to build but more talent to build it with, and I see a roster capable of making the leap to at least a .500 record following a dismal 27-win season.
- Martin S. @marley_mcfly