Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Franklin, Chandler

Despite their early-season success, the Pelicans‘ core isn’t likely to become a championship-contending one, Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders opines. One of the main issues with the current roster is the lack of talent on the perimeter, and with Eric Gordon likely to exercise his $15.5MM player option for next season, it will be difficult to upgrade the roster until the summer of 2016, notes Duncan. One option Duncan suggests for the Pelicans to rid themselves of Gordon’s deal earlier is for New Orleans to package its 2016 first-rounder in a trade along with Gordon in order to encourage a team to take on his expiring contract, though the Pelicans owe a protected 2015 first-round pick to Houston, so they would have trouble sending out a 2016 first-rounder, thanks to the Stepien Rule.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Duncan also added that re-signing Omer Asik this offseason will be an organizational priority because of that protected first-round pick that the Pelicans surrendered to the Rockets in order to acquire him.
  • Jamaal Franklin recently agreed to a one month extension to his contract with the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Franklin’s original agreement with the team was for two months, and this extension will still allow him to return to the NBA in January when teams are able to sign players to 10-day contracts, Wojnarowski adds. The 23-year-old shooting guard appeared in 21 contests for the Grizzlies last season and he averaged 1.9 points in 7.7 minutes per game.
  • It’s possible that if Tyson Chandler had not broken his leg last season, New York’s 2013/14 campaign wouldn’t have been such a disaster and the Knicks wouldn’t have traded the big man to the Mavericks, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com writes. Chandler is happy to be back in Dallas and while he stops short of being thankful for the injury, he is pleased with how things turned out for him this offseason, MacMahon adds. “I look at life as like everything happens for a reason,” Chandler said. “There’s no mistakes made. At the time, [the injury] was devastating clearly, but I feel like everything happens for a reason.”
  • The Iowa Energy have acquired former first round pick Jordan Hamilton via waivers, the team has announced. Hamilton reportedly worked out for the Lakers last week after a brief stint with the Jazz earlier this month. Though he’ll play for the Grizzlies‘ D-League affiliate, Hamilton is free to sign with any NBA team that would desire his services.

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