Kendrick Perkins said it was the Pelicans‘ strong young core of players that led him to choose to sign with the team this summer, Jim Eichenhofer of NBA.com writes. “You looked at every position from AD [Anthony Davis] to Jrue Holiday to Eric Gordon to Tyreke Evans and you just saw that they had a nice core, young guys that were good at every position,” Perkins said. “Raw talent. All they needed was a couple teaching points on the little things and professionalism. They had that [professionalism] already, because they work hard. But on the court, they needed a leader. The leader is not always the best player on the team, but more so the vocal side.”
“The young talent [was appealing],” Perkins continued. “You look at their team and [think about] having a veteran guy around to lead them and teach them how to be professionals, how to take care of their bodies, to be responsible on the road, to stay focused and don’t worry about the nightlife. Just the little things. You could tell they were a few things away from reaching a great goal. So I just felt like this was the place for me. I reached out to [GM] Dell [Demps] and he reached out to me. I felt wanted.”
Here’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Grizzlies VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski is happy in Memphis and has no interest in the Bucks’ vacant assistant GM position, Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times tweets.
- Wesley Matthews, who signed a four-year, maximum salary deal with the Mavericks this offseason, hopes to break out of the three-and-D label he had with the Blazers and show his full repertoire of skills this season, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com relays. “You know, I’ve never been one to allow someone to label me,” Matthews said. “I always continue to try to get better. I’m not a content type of person. If they come up with a term ‘three-and-D’ and they want to fit me in that category, that’s fine. But there’s not a thing that I don’t think I can do on the court, and I’m excited for the opportunity. You know, talking to coach [Rick] Carlisle, I’m obviously familiar with the system, having ran it in Portland. And talking to him, there’s opportunities that he sees how I can help this team. And I’m excited for those opportunities.”