Pelicans Notes: Young Talent, Redick, SVG, Free Agents

In his first press conference with his new team on Tuesday, Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy had high praise for forward Zion Williamson, the top pick in the 2019 draft, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN.

“He’s a multi-talented guy,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t look at him in any way as far as is he a four or a five. I’m not sure those labels matter when it comes to him.”

Van Gundy spoke highly of point guard Lonzo Ball, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft, as well.

“So I think as good as Lonzo is now, and he’s very good, I think that we can expect a good arc of improvement for him over the next few years,” Van Gundy opined.

The Pelicans’ new head coach also stressed emphasizing defense improvement for the club.

There’s more out of the Big Easy:

  • Veteran Pelicans guard J.J. Redick, who had played under Van Gundy while with the Magic, recommended the hire to Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin. “I had mentioned to Griff back in August that I thought he’d be great for the job,” Redick said on his podcast The Old Man and the Three, as Andrew Lopez of ESPN relays (Twitter link).
  • With the hire of an experienced coach at the level of Van Gundy, the Pelicans are hopeful that their new head coach can optimize the potential of the team’s young talent, according to Scott Kushner of NOLA.com.
  • William Guillory of The Athletic assessed some ideal free agent candidates for the Pelicans in a new mailbag. With center Derrick Favors an unrestricted free agent this offseason, free agent veterans like Marc Gasol, Tristan Thompson, Meyers Leonard, and Aron Baynes could all be effective replacements should New Orleans opt to move on from Favors. Defensive-oriented Heat forward Jae Crowder is mentioned as another solid fit for the team to generally shore up its frontcourt depth.
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10 thoughts on “Pelicans Notes: Young Talent, Redick, SVG, Free Agents

  1. Otogar

    If Zion remains healthy and turns out to be the real thing, Ingram confirms his improvement, and Jrue stays and keeps it up, the Pelicans could make some noise. But this is a good number of “ifs”.

  2. Jeff Zanghi

    I’m not sure I’d really want Zion getting all that much time at the 5… I get what Van Gundy is saying about him being able to play multiple positions… but regardless of how athletic he is… at 6’6″ I think I’d want him to be more of a 3/4 than a 4/5 — unless you’re really going small with your lineup.

  3. x%sure

    Griffin didn’t hire a 61-yo to get someone who will act like like a 21-yo, Mr.Kushner.

    Mr.Guillory pointed out that UFA Tristan played for Griffin. People who know him tend to be fans. Also, SVG signed UFA Baynes to a 3/$20 even before he could shoot 35% on 3s (only average numbers otherwise though). Everyone mentions him as an ideal backup but he would likely be an RS starter on a rising team in NOLA.
    I would say: UFA Derrick Favors will be available. He’s not a great fit with Zion, and disappointed in the bubble.

  4. Little_Dunker_45

    A lot of people will chuckle because yes he’s a bit overweight, but I find Stan Van Gundy to be a very handsome guy (Jeff not as much).
    I think how you look plays into the respect you get back from your players, and whether they’ll ultimately accept your direction. Alvin was a good looking guy too, but it was time to shake it up. They did not play so hot in Orlando.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Stan Van Gundy wants to know if he can send you some tasteful pics. LOL.

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