Many teams nowadays are trying to build their roster by drafting and trading for young prospects.
A great bulk of NBA teams like New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers and others tried to retool their roster and dramatically drop the average age of their teams.
Especially the Pelicans, which made vast changes in the span of the last couple of months
The Anthony Davis era came to an end
David Griffin made an exceptional work turning around the “Anthony Davis” mess and mitigate the “damage” from the loss of his superstar with three young players and couple of draft picks.
He got three good young “pieces” from the Los Angeles Lakers to start the rebuilding of the franchise.
Lonzo Ball, is a great perimeter defender and passer, Brandon Ingram, is a “long” “20 points per game” scorer and Josh Hart can become a useful role player.
Lonzo Ball is great at making his teammates better. He is averaging about 5.4 assists per game on a 2.4 assist to turnover ratio. Also, he was locking down his opponents on defense holding them under the mark of 44% on field goal percentage.
Ball and Holiday can become a formidable backcourt duo for the New Orleans and the foundation of a very successful defense on the perimeter.
The only thing that can keep Ball away of being one of the best point guards in the league is his atrocious shooting(40.6 on FG%, 32,9% on 3P% and 41.7%), which is something he has to work on to become an elite NBA guard.
On the other hand, Brandon Ingram can become the second scoring option on his team’s offense. The “long” forward had an incredible run the last two months of the season averaging over 20 points per game.
After the Lakers’s medical staff found out a blood clot on his right arm, he was submitted to surgery to remove it and the season was over for him, while he was averaging about 18.3 points per game on 49.3 field goal percentage and 33% from the three point line all year.
Enter the Zion Williamson era
Pelicans got all the help they could from the 2019 NBA Draft, since they chose Zion Willamson and took the best talent of this year’s “crop”.
Williamson is a “freakish” athlete with incredible power, especially when he is attacking the basket. He will have to “polish” his basketball skills for the next level, but the young prospect is “on his way” to do that.
The 19years old forward averaged about 22.6 points per game on 68% field goal percentage and about 70.8% effective field goal percentage, while grabbing about 9 rebounds per game on his freshman year in Duke.
However, Pelicans could claim that they are “stoked”, when it comes to young talented players. For example, assets like Jahlil Okafor and Jaxson Hayes in the frontline and Nickeil Alexander-Walker on the guard position.
The former number 3 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, Okafor is a great low-post scorer with incredible “back to the basket” moves, however his defense deficiencies are holding him back.
Jaxson Hayes is the next “rim protector” coming from Indiana University after Myles Turner,Jarrett Allen and Mo Mamba.
On the other hand, Alexander-Walker can become a very useful two-way guard that can develop his skills under the guidance of New Orleans Pelican’s veteran, Jrue Holiday.
Pelicans lost their star, Anthony Davis, but they are on the way to create the next top drawer player, who will drive the team to new “heights”.
*Stats from nba.com