With a slew of young talent and a possible generational player are the New Orleans Pelicans going to be a problem for the Dallas Mavericks?
It’s easy for Dallas Mavericks to fans to forget that we’re not the only team in the Southwestern Conference with a possibly transcend player, and talented young core.
The New Orleans Pelicans in many experts’ opinion won the Anthony Davis trade with the Los Angeles Lakers. A trade that sent Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks to New Orleans. A readymade young core to go along with underrated point guard Jrue Holiday.
The New Orleans Pelicans then literally won the lottery. Scoring them first overall pick Zion Williamson, eighth pick Jaxson Hayes, and seventh pick Nickeil Alexander- Walker. The New Orleans Pelicans also went on to pull off one of the better free agency moves, signings three-point-sniper JJ Redick. To cushion the blow of losing Anthony Davis and Julius Randall, New Orleans traded for 2010 third overall pick Derrick Favors.
I’m sure by now you all have heard of Zion Williamson. The 6’7″ 285 pound man child. Zion bust on to the scene during his junior year of high school at Spartanburg Day School in Spartanburg South Carolina. Zion stole the national spotlight by way of viral highlight video’s. Highlight video’s that left many, including myself, questioning his competition.
Zion looked like a man amongst boys even in higher level camps like the Adidas EuroCamp. Williamson has a mix of size and athleticism not seen since Labron James. Whether or not Zion will have similar success remains to be seen. Although impressive so far, Zion doesn’t have a consistent jump shot, and he needs to lose some weight to take stress off of his lower body. Zion is expected to miss the first six to eight weeks of the season after undergoing meniscus surgery.
Though the Pelicans may start the season without Zion they still have an impressive group of rookies:
The New Orleans Pelicans traded number four overall pick De’Andre Hunter and veteran wing Solomon Hill to the Atlanta Hawks. In return the Pelicans received number eight pick Jaxson Hayes, seventh pick Nickeil Alexander- Walker, thirty-fifth pick Marcos Louzada Silva, and a heavily protected 2020 draft pick.
Jaxson Hayes the seven foot center from the University of Texas had possibly the best dunk of the summer league dunking over the Chicago Bulls Mychal Mulder. When I say he dunked over Mychal Mulder I mean he literally jumped over the 6’4″ Mulder.
Hayes is the very athletic son of former NFL tight end Jonathan Hayes. Jaxson can jump out of the gym, and he uses that ability on both ends of the court. Jaxson is just as known for sending opponents shots back at them as he is for his posterizing dunks. Jaxson will come off the bench to start the season but could work himself into a starting role by the end of the season.
With the seventh pick the New Orleans Pelicans selected Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker is my early pick for steal of the draft. This kid can flat out play. He can score all over the court and he’s a solid defender. He plays a lot like his cousin Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He’s a three and D guard that can can attack the basket, and finish well around the rim with both hands. Alexander-Walker is a very skilled player that seems to be everywhere on the court. With his play-making ability I can see this guy being a problem for years to come.
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To finish off their draft haul with the thirty-fifth pick the Pelicans took Marcos Louzada Silva. Silva is a 20 year old Brazilian born forward. Marcos played last year in the National Basketball League. A league made up of eight teams from Australia and one New Zealand team. Silva is a bit undersized at 6’5″ to play forward in the NBA, but what he lacks in size he makes up for with effort. Silva has a very high motor and can finish inside with an array of moves. Marcos still needs time to develop but he could become a solid role player for the New Orleans Pelicans.
The New Orleans Pelicans’ roster has a good mix of young guys and veterans. They should also be able to score in a number of different ways putting a lot of pressure on defenses. With number one pick Zion Williamson expected to miss the first six to eight weeks, the Pelicans might find themselves in a early season hole. In the uber competitive western conference this hole might be too much to overcome. Although New Orleans might not challenge the Dallas Mavericks for a playoffs spot this year.
With their extremely talented young core, possible generational player in Zion Williamson, and a slew of draft picks the New Orleans Pelicans could become a force in the Southwestern Division in years to come.
- Published on 10/23/2019 at 11:00 AM
- Last updated at 10/23/2019 at 06:13 AM