When the Pelicans signed Anthony Davis to a max extension, the move put the franchise in win-now mode for five years, writes Shaun Powell in his 30 teams in 30 days series for NBA.com. The Pelicans, Powell adds, are anticipating a better record than last year’s with Alvin Gentry as the new coach. That’s partially why the franchise decided to stand pat this summer. Another reason for not making a move, as Powell points out, is because the contracts of Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson expire after this season. Seemingly being counterproductive, however, the Pelicans decided to spend a lot of money to re-sign Omer Asik and re-sign Alexis Ajinca, Powell adds.
Here’s more from around the Southwest Division:
- Speaking of Gentry, the Pelicans coach said on SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter link) that he would not hesitate to rest players like Davis, and Jrue Holiday during the season.
- The Mavs should be better in the backcourt with new starters Wesley Matthews and Deron Williams taking over for Monta Ellis and Rajon Rondo, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes, but overall, the team does not seem improved enough to be a lock for the playoffs. The team is expected have several position battles during camp, so the Mavs should nonetheless be a fun team to keep an eye on, Sefko adds.
- In the same piece, Sefko elaborates on the Mavs‘ bench and writes that Dallas added young players with upside, but the unit isn’t necessarily any better than last year’s group. The Mavs added Jeremy Evans and John Jenkins. Former Dallas bench players Al-Farouq Aminu, Amar’e Stoudemire, Richard Jefferson each bolted elsewhere during the summer.