E'Twaun Moore

E’Twaun Moore Out At Least 7 To 10 Days

A recurrent left quadriceps contusion that Pelicans swingman E’Twaun Moore suffered Wednesday night will sideline him for more than a week, the team announced on its website. An MRI conducted Thursday confirmed the injury, and the medical staff will re-evaluate his condition in seven to 10 days.

Moore’s absence leaves the Pelicans even more short-handed in the wake of last night’s news that Jrue Holiday will miss at least seven to 10 days with a lower abdominal strain.

With newly-signed Dairis Bertans still not available and Trevon Bluiett sidelined after thumb surgery, New Orleans will have a limited roster tonight against the Raptors. In addition, Jahlil Okafor is questionable with a right ankle sprain and Anthony Davis remains on a minutes limit.

Moore has posted an 11.9/2.4/1.9 line in 53 games, making 36 starts. An eight-year veteran, he is in this third season with the Pelicans and is signed through next year.

Lakers, Pelicans To Resume Anthony Davis Trade Talks

The Lakers and Pelicans will have more discussions regarding Anthony Davis before Thursday’s trade deadline, according to Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times.

Updating the progress of negotiations, the Times writers state that the Lakers submitted five offers to New Orleans on Wednesday, but Pelicans officials have yet to hold internal discussions on them. Multiple sources told the Times that one of the offers would send Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac and a first-round pick to the Pelicans.

New Orleans is reportedly mulling over a counter-offer that would seek a pair of first-round picks and would send a Pelicans player to the Lakers. Besides Davis and Jrue Holiday, whom New Orleans intends to keep, the only significant contracts for next season belong to Solomon Hill ($12,758,781) and E’Twaun Moore ($8,664,928). Julius Randle has a player option worth a little more than $9MM.

Davis remains the focus of the Lakers’ trade efforts, but L.A. is also seeking shooters, presumably to replenish the team if it trades four players for Davis. Ganguli reported earlier tonight that the Lakers called the Pistons about Reggie Bullock, who is shooting 38.3% from downtown and ranks 14th in the league with 2.4 3-pointers per game.

Pelicans Shopped Mirotic, Randle, Moore

The Pelicans spent the weekend trying to trade Nikola Mirotic, Julius Randle and E’Twaun Moore in exchange for draft picks, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his weekly podcast (hat tip to Andrew Lopez of The Times-Picayune).

“Over the weekend, I had heard from two separate teams that Mirotic, Randle and Moore had all been made available for picks,” Lowe said. “New Orleans is known for perhaps playing some misdirection, so teams didn’t know what to think of this. One team made of it, their guess and/or impression was, New Orleans was trying to get picks that it then flips for a big, big piece in a save-the-season trade.”

The other team told Lowe it also wasn’t sure how to interpret the Pelicans’ move and speculated that they might be giving up on this season and trying to build for the future. New Orleans is 13th in the East with a 22-28 record and is five and a half games out of a playoff spot.

Mirotic, who was acquired from the Bulls last season, will be a free agent in July and will be seeking a raise on his $12.5MM salary. Randle, who signed with the team over the summer, has a player option for next season worth a little more than $9MM. Moore is in his third season with the Pelicans and has one year left on his current contract at nearly $8.67MM.

New Orleans is trying to plan for the future without star big man Anthony Davis, who informed the team over the weekend that he won’t sign an extension this summer and wants to be traded.

Pelicans Rumors: Porter, Moore, Bazemore, Lin

Few players have made a bigger impact on their teams this season than Anthony Davis, whose Pelicans have a +10.7 net rating when he’s on the court and a -13.7 rating when he sits. However, Davis could use some help, so Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer devotes his latest article to exploring a number of potential trade options for New Orleans, providing a handful of interesting tidbits along the way.

Let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • There are “whispers” that the Pelicans have interest in Wizards forward Otto Porter, according to O’Connor, who believes that Porter could thrive in New Orleans’ up-tempo offense and would fill a major need for the team. While there’s no indication that the two teams have engaged in trade discussions, O’Connor suggests that a package along the lines of Solomon Hill, Julius Randle, and a first-round pick might work.
  • Following up on a report suggesting that the Pelicans offered Nikola Mirotic and a first-round pick to the Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler, O’Connor writes that E’Twaun Moore was included in a version of New Orleans’ offer for Butler. Sources tell O’Connor that the Pels declined to make Jrue Holiday available in those trade talks, and also resisted offering an unprotected 2022 first-round pick.
  • O’Connor identifies Kent Bazemore, Wesley Matthews, James Johnson, Trevor Ariza, and DeMarre Carroll as some other wings and forwards who could be of interest to New Orleans, and who may end up being available. The Pelicans made a play for Bazemore in the offseason, O’Connor notes.
  • Scott Kushner of The Advocate recently argued that the Pelicans could use another playmaker, even when Elfrid Payton is healthy. O’Connor makes a similar point, observing that New Orleans had interest in Jeremy Lin before he signed with the Nets in 2016. Lin could be a trade candidate to watch, according to O’Connor, who points to Milos Teodosic (Clippers) and T.J. McConnell (Sixers) as others to keep an eye on.

Pelicans Still In Need Of A Wing Player?

A bigger issue with the Pelicans this upcoming season may be the absence of a reliable player on the wing rather than the loss of Rajon Rondo or DeMarcus Cousins, as newcomers Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton are capable of replicating their production, at least in part, writes Scott Kushner of The Advocate.

Kushner opines that nobody on the Pelicans’ roster is capable of being a solid “3-and-D” player, as Solomon Hill has struggled to recover from a torn hamstring and E’Twaun Moore, limited by his 6’4” frame, has been asked to play against players much taller than him and seemingly taken out of his comfort zone as a result.

“If it was up to me — it doesn’t really matter as long as I stay on the floor and help my team win — but I would like to say that maybe I hopefully could be playing a little bit more guard (this season),” Moore said. “Last year, I was more of a wing, but it worked out well for the team because we played so fast. But it would be kind of cool to be going back to being a guard again.”

So, the Pelicans will now hold a three-man competition between Troy Williams, Garlon Green, and Kenrich Williams in order to find someone who may be able to crack the team’s wing rotation this season.

The Pelicans could also be active around midseason, as they were when they acquired Cousins in 2017 and Nikola Mirotic last season. But for now, they’ll rely on MVP-candidate Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Randle and Mirotic, which should be enough to keep them in the Western Conference playoff race.

Southwest Notes: Rockets, Moore, Bickerstaff

A number of Rockets players have seen new opportunities arise following James Harden‘s hamstring injury, among them journeyman Briante Weber and Houston native Gerald Green, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes.

The Rockets have opted to slot supersub combo guard Eric Gordon in as the starting two beside Chris Paul, allowing Weber to fill the role of primary backup point guard. Green, similarly, has seen an opening as the team’s backup shooting guard.

Green, a 31-year-old, 11-year veteran, signed with the Rockets in late December while Weber, a two-way signee, has spent the majority of the campaign with Houston’s G League affiliate in Rio Grande Valley.

Including the 27 points he dropped off the bench on Wednesday, Green is averaging 13.8 points per game for the Rockets while Weber has seen his role with the big league club grow considerably since December 22.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans can attribute much of their success this season to the hot hand of seven-year veteran E’Twaun Moore, John Coon of the New Orleans Advocate writes. “He’s a good shooter and he’s had more opportunities than he normally would have during a season,” head coach Alvin Gentry said. “We’ve got two really good big guys in there and they create double-team situations and they’re very unselfish players, so they’re willing passers.
  • While interim Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has embraced some of the team’s young players, the results on the court aren’t all that different than what previous coach David Fizdale was producing. Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes that the new bench boss remains committed to the team’s process.
  • New Rockets owner Tilman Feritta isn’t phased by the team’s recent slide, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. “I’m not worried about [the struggles]“, Fertitta said. “It’s a five-game stretch. Hopefully we have all of our downs now and we have all of our ups later. It’s amazing what injuries have to do with these teams winning and losing, too.”

Southwest Notes: Moore, Aldridge, Pensacola

The absence of Rajon Rondo during the first month or so of the regular season will open up more of an opportunity for Pelicans combo guard E’Twaun Moore, William Guillory of The Times-Picayune writes.

Moore, who head coach Alvin Gentry says will probably start the club’s October 18 season opener, averaged a career-best 9.6 points per game for the Pelicans last season.

Back at full health after a 2016/17 campaign in which he nursed turf toe, Moore will look to validate the Pelicans’ decision to ink him to a four-year, $34MM contract last summer.

In limited time with the Pelicans’ starting core, Guillory writes, the group posted an impressive plus-16.4 net rating.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Heading into his third year with the Spurs, big man LaMarcus Aldridge is embracing a larger leadership role, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News writes. “I’m not the rah-rah guy,” Aldridge said. “I think people know that about me from my Portland days. But just trying to make sure guys are in the right spot, trying to teach guys how to play defense and know the principles and help guys stay positive and things like that.
  • The wheels are in motion for the Pelicans to land a G League team, now they’re searching for a city to host the franchise. The current favorite, Chris Reichert of 2 Ways, 10 Days writes, is Pensacola.
  • The Grizzlies will welcome Tony Allen back to the FedExForum this week and both general manager Chris Wallace and owner Robert Pera have released statements about his time with the franchise. In a post on the team’s official site, Pera goes so far as to say that the Grindfather’s jersey will one day hang in the rafters.

Pelicans, Pistons Discussing Reggie Jackson Trade

The Pistons and Pelicans have discussed a trade that would send Reggie Jackson to New Orleans, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. Scotto adds that New Orleans could ship out E’Twaun Moore, Alexis Ajinca, and/or Quincy Pondexter in exchange for Jackson’s services.

Jackson, 27, still has three years and $51MM left on his deal and has been on the trade block since last season’s trade deadline. The Pelicans, who re-signed Jrue Holiday to a five-year, $126MM pact, feel that a Holiday/Jackson backcourt would be successful, per Scotto.

Jackson averaged 14.5 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 2.2 RPG in just over 27 minutes per game for the Pistons last season. However, a knee injury held him to 52 games, his lowest total since his rookie year with the Thunder.

Detroit is in a transitional phase, therefore no roster spot is safe. Aron Baynes has departed for the Celtics and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is set to sign elsewhere in free agency. While the team has acquired Anthony Tolliver, Reggie Bullock, Avery Bradley, and Langston Galloway, it’s clear that the team is focused on shorter commitments and smaller salaries.

In a possible trade, both Moore (three years, $25.9MM) and Ajinca (two years, $10.3MM) have multiple years remaining on their deals; both players provided solid contributions off the bench for New Orleans last season. Pondexter has missed the last two seasons with left knee surgery and has a $3.9MM salary for 2017/18.

Pelicans Notes: Asik, Ajinca, Backcourt, Evans

Centers Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca have dropped completely out of the Pelicans rotation as the team has found success with small-ball lineups, Justin Verrier of ESPN.com reports. Asik and Ajinca have been glued to the bench the last three games while the club has reeled off four consecutive victories. Forwards Dante Cunningham and  Solomon Hill are the biggest beneficiaries of coach Alvin Gentry’s altered rotation, and their increased minutes have allowed the Pelicans to switch defensively much more easily, Verrier continues. New Orleans has the league’s 12th ­best offensive rating and fourth-best defensive rating since the shakeup earlier this week, Verrier adds. Franchise player Anthony Davis is thrilled with the new look, as he told Verrier. “When we play small it gives us an advantage on both ends of the floor.” he said.

In other developments regarding the Pelicans:

  • Gentry is enjoying the pleasant dilemma of having too many options at the guard spots, Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com writes. Gentry prefers not to have more than four backcourt players in the rotation, Eichenhofer notes. Jrue Holiday and rookie Buddy Hield are the current starters, leaving Gentry to choose from the quartet of Langston Galloway, E’Twaun Moore, Tyreke Evans and Tim Frazier for the remaining minutes. “It’s good to have the depth and have an opportunity that if things aren’t going real well, to stick another guy in and see if he has it for that night,” Gentry told Eichenhofer.
  • Evans, who can also play small forward, will see an uptick in minutes soon, according to John Reid of the New Orleans Times Picayune. Evans had been on a 15-minute per game restriction since returning from knee surgery and is still not cleared to play both games of back-to-backs, Reid continues. Gentry told Reid and other media members that his minutes would increase to 18 or 20 per game on a regular basis. Evans played 18 minutes against the Knicks on Friday. “I don’t think he’s going to go from 15 to 30,” Gentry said. “I think there’s a possibility that he could play 18 minutes or 20 minutes, that’s the natural progression that’s going to happen.”

Pelicans Rumors: Davis, Moore, Holiday, Benson

The lack of talent surrounding Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis is the biggest reason why his ability to make teammates better has been slow to develop, Kevin Ding of the Bleacher Report opines. Davis has not enjoyed the luxury of playing with another All-Star caliber player, which has led to his poor assist-to-turnover ratio, Ding continues while noting he’s only finished one season with a positive ratio. Davis’ usage rate, and the percentage of assists he’s had on those possessions, are comparable to low-post players like Brook Lopez and Zach Randolph, Ding points out, rather than a versatile superstar. Coach Alvin Gentry has also failed to develop an offensive support system to facilitate Davis’ growth, Ding adds.

In other news regarding the Pelicans:

  • Shooting guard E’Twaun Moore is grateful to have some job security after playing for three other organizations during his first five years in the league, Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders writes. Moore, who left the Bulls and signed a four-year, $34MM contract as a free agent over the summer, is averaging a career-high 12.6 points. “It’s tough to stick around in this league; it’s not easy,” Moore told Taylor.
  • Guard Jrue Holiday believes his experience will help the club in late-game situations, according to an Associated Press story. Holiday will make his season debut on Friday after caring for his ailing wife Lauren. “Down the stretch, I do think I could help with some directing and just tightening it up,” Holiday said. Gentry said at he might pair Holiday at times with Tim Frazier, who has started at the point in his absence. “Jrue can play off the ball or on the ball,” Gentry told the AP. “That’s what makes him so good. I think he’s a versatile player. We need his shooting also.”
  • A lawsuit regarding the ownership of the team is close to being resolved, Greg LaRose of the Times-Picayune relays. The parties have asked Judge Jane Triche Milazzo for more time to complete settlement talks. The dispute surfaced when Pelicans owner Tom Benson sought to remove ownership shares of the teams from the inheritance of his daughter, Renee Benson, and his grandchildren. He wants to give control of the franchise to his wife, Gayle.