Pelicans Rumors

Details On 2018 NBA Playoff Pool Money

The NBA’s playoff pool money has increased to $20MM this season, up from $15MM for the last two years and $14MM for the two years before that, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. This pool represents money awarded to teams for certain achievements, which is then divvied up among the club’s players.

According to Zillgitt, the breakdown for 2018’s playoff pool money is as follows:

Regular season achievements:

  • Best record in NBA (Rockets): $576,843
  • No. 1 seeds in each conference (Rockets, Raptors): $504,737 each
  • No. 2 seeds (Warriors, Celtics): $405,684 each
  • No. 3 seeds (Trail Blazers, Sixers): $302,843 each
  • No. 4 seeds (Thunder, Cavaliers): $238,001 each
  • No. 5 seeds (Jazz, Pacers): $198,317 each
  • No. 6 seeds (Pelicans, Heat): $135,263 each

Postseason achievements:

  • Teams participating in first round (all playoff teams): $298,485 each
  • Teams participating in Conference Semifinals (Rockets, Warriors, Jazz, Pelicans, Celtics, Cavaliers, Sixers, Raptors): $355,159 each
  • Teams participating in Conference Finals (Rockets, Warriors, Celtics, Cavaliers): $586,898 each
  • Losing team in NBA Finals (TBD): $2,346,947
  • Winning team in NBA Finals (TBD): $3,541,896

NBA Announces 2017/18 All-NBA Teams

The NBA has formally announced the All-NBA First, Second, and Third Teams for the 2017/18 season, with James Harden and LeBron James leading the way as the two unanimous selections for the First Team.

The voting results will have major financial implications for the three All-NBA centers, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, and Karl-Anthony Towns. As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), Davis is now eligible for a supermax extension from the Pelicans next summer. Davis will be eligible to sign that deal, which projects to be worth $230MM, as of July 1, 2019.

As for Embiid, missing out on a First Team nod means his maximum-salary contract will remain at 25% of the cap rather than being bumped up to 30%. That means he’ll miss out on approximately $29MM over the next five years, as Dan Feldman of NBC Sports details.

Towns, meanwhile, will be eligible for an extension worth 30% of the cap this summer, Marks tweets. An extension of that sort, which would make the cap outlook in Minnesota very interesting, would go into effect for the 2019/20 season.

The full All-NBA teams are listed below, with their vote totals in parentheses. Players received five points for a First Team vote, three points for a Second Team vote, and one point for a Third Team vote, so Harden and James scored a perfect 500 — First Team nods from all 100 voters.

First Team

  • Guard: James Harden, Rockets (500)
  • Guard: Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers (432)
  • Forward: LeBron James, Cavaliers (500)
  • Forward: Kevin Durant, Warriors (426)
  • Center: Anthony Davis, Pelicans (492)

Second Team

Third Team

Among those results, the tightest race saw DeRozan edge Curry by a single point for a spot on the All-NBA Second Team. Both players received two First Team votes and 39 Second Team votes, with DeRozan grabbing one extra Third Team vote (38 to 37) to bump him up to the Second Team ahead of Curry.

As for the players who didn’t quite make the cut, Rockets point guard Chris Paul (54 points), Jazz center Rudy Gobert (51), Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (42), and Sixers guard/forward Ben Simmons (36) received the most support.

Al Horford (Celtics), Nikola Jokic (Nuggets), Andre Drummond (Pistons), Clint Capela (Rockets), Draymond Green (Warriors), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), Steven Adams (Thunder), Donovan Mitchell (Jazz), Klay Thompson (Warriors), Trevor Ariza (Rockets), DeMarcus Cousins (Pelicans), Dwight Howard (Hornets), Kevin Love (Cavaliers), and Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks) also each received at least one All-NBA vote.

NBA Announces 2017/18 All-Defensive Teams

The NBA has officially announced its 2017/18 All-Defensive First and Second Teams, with Defensive Player of the Year candidates Rudy Gobert and Anthony Davis headlining the First Team.

Gobert led the way in voting, receiving 94 of 100 potential First Team votes. He also received four Second Team votes, and was left off of just two ballots, earning him 192 total points (two points per First Team vote; one point per Second Team vote). It’s his second All-Defensive First Team nod.

[RELATED: NBA Announces 2017/18 All-Rookie Teams]

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), the All-Defensive recognition will pay off financially for Gobert, who earns a $500K bonus as a result of his spot on the First Team. Meanwhile, Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday will receive a more modest $100K bonus for being named to the All-Defensive First Team.

Here are the full voting results for the All-Defensive First and Second Teams, with each player’s point total noted in parentheses:

First Team

  • Rudy Gobert, C, Jazz (192)
  • Anthony Davis, F/C, Pelicans (163)
  • Victor Oladipo, G, Pacers (136)
  • Jrue Holiday, G, Pelicans (105)
  • Robert Covington, F, Sixers (90)

Second Team

Rockets point guard Chris Paul (74 points) and Thunder forward Paul George (69) narrowly missed earning spots on the All-Defensive Second Team. A total of 29 other players received at least one vote, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson.

You can find the full voting results right here.

Gentry: Pelicans Organization Wants Cousins Back

Everyone in the Pelicans organization wants DeMarcus Cousins to re-sign with the club, coach Alvin Gentry told ESPN’s Mike Triplett and other reporters on Monday.

The Pelicans made the playoffs despite Cousins’ season-ending Achilles tendon injury in January and then advanced to the conference semifinals by sweeping the Trail Blazers in the opening round. That hasn’t changed the team’s desire to retain the Twin Towers pairing of Cousins and Anthony Davis. Cousins is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

“I don’t really talk about free agency. But the bottom line is that obviously we’d like to have him back on our team,” Gentry said. “Anyone that thinks you’re better having a guy that averaged [big numbers] not on your team is really kind of not in tune to what it takes to win in this league. So there’s just so many factors that enter into it. But there’s not one single person, player or coach or in the basketball ops department or ownership that doesn’t want him back.”

Cousins indicated in an extensive interview last week that he hadn’t spoken with anyone in the front office “in awhile.” That hinted at a potential disconnect between the two parties, or even that the Pelicans might let him walk without an offer.

Gentry’s comments debunked that notion. Cousins did say in the same interview he was interested in re-signing with them, though he’d let the process play itself out.

Whether the Pelicans or any other team offers Cousins a max contract remains a mystery, given that Cousins is coming off a major injury, along with his reputation as one of the league’s most temperamental players. The Pelicans reportedly had internal discussions about offering Cousins a two- or three-year contract worth less than the max. It’s also expected that most of the teams with significant cap space this summer won’t pursue him.

Pelicans Express Interest In Anfernee Simons

  • According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link), the Pelicans, Hawks, Cavaliers, Kings, Thunder, Grizzlies, Jazz, Spurs, Sixers, Nets, and Timberwolves have reached out to express interest in IMG Academy prospect Anfernee Simons.

DeMarcus Cousins Talks Achilles, Pelicans, Free Agency

Speaking to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, DeMarcus Cousins expressed optimism about his recovery from his season-ending Achilles injury, suggesting that he thinks he can be ready to go for the start of training camp. While that’s hardly a lock, Cousins said his own personal goal is to be able to play in the 2018/19 regular season opener.

Of course, given his upcoming unrestricted free agency, it’s not yet clear what uniform Cousins would be wearing if he makes it back for opening night. Asked about his free agent decision, Cousins said he won’t rush the process, and plans to make “the absolute best decision for DeMarcus Cousins.” The big man added that his ideal landing spot would be a contending team where he’d “be appreciated.”

Spears’ conversation with Cousins is worth checking out in full, and includes his explanation for why he unfollowed the Pelicans on Instagram. Here are a few other highlights from the veteran center:

On the idea that the Pelicans were better without him:

“It’s silly. I don’t think anyone in that locker room believes that. Not to take any credit from my team, but they stepped up, and that’s what you expect from your teammate when adversity hits and that’s exactly what they did. I’m super proud, and I give them all the credit in the world for being able to come together and make that happen.”

On how good the Pelicans looked just before his Achilles injury happened:

“It was scary, and at that moment we thought that we could battle with any team in the NBA. It didn’t matter. It’s crazy because I remember [Rajon] Rondo saying, ‘Man, it’s clicking.’ And the way we were meshing together, everybody was flowing together. I can remember him talking about it saying we’re clicking, it’s looking so good out here and, you know, it happens.”

On whether he’s interested in re-signing with the Pelicans:

“Oh yeah, for sure. This is my first time in free agency, but I’ve been around this business long enough. I know how things work. I’m not out here trying to hold a grudge or anything like that. I’m going to make the best decision for me, and I believe teams are going to do the same thing.”

On the level of interest from the Pelicans’ side:

“I know for a fact my teammates want me back there, but you know it’s a business. The people in the front office are going to make the best decision for the team or whatever they feel is the best decision. You know, we’ll see what happens. I honestly can’t answer that question, I haven’t spoken to the front office in a while, so we’ll see what happens.”

On playing in New Orleans:

“The city of New Orleans is super dope. The Southern hospitality is through the roof. Only a Southerner would really know what that Southern hospitality is like. It’s genuine love down there. They are crazy about their sports teams, the Pelicans and the Saints. Whenever I was out and about I was always shown love. … I appreciated the time I did have there, if it is the end. But if it’s not, I can’t wait to be back around.”

2018 NBA Draft Picks By Team

While the Sixers were knocked out of the 2018 playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the underdog Celtics, few teams are better positioned in this year’s draft than Philadelphia. The 76ers own six of the 60 picks in the 2018 NBA draft, including a pair of first-rounders.

As our full 2018 draft order shows, the Sixers are one of seven NBA teams that holds more than two selections in this year’s draft. On the other end of the spectrum, eight teams have just one pick in 2018, while two teams – the Heat and Raptors – don’t have any selections.

To present a clearer picture of which teams are most – and least – stocked with picks for the 2018 NBA draft, we’ve rounded up all 60 picks by team in the space below. Let’s dive in…

Teams with more than two picks:

  • Philadelphia 76ers (6): 10, 26, 38, 39, 56, 60
  • Phoenix Suns (4): 1, 16, 31, 59
  • Atlanta Hawks (4): 3, 19, 30, 34
  • Dallas Mavericks (3): 5, 33, 54
  • Orlando Magic (3): 6, 35, 41
  • Denver Nuggets (3): 14, 43, 58
  • Brooklyn Nets (3): 29, 40, 45

Teams with two picks:

  • Sacramento Kings: 2, 37
  • Memphis Grizzlies: 4, 32
  • Chicago Bulls: 7, 22
  • New York Knicks: 9, 36
  • Charlotte Hornets: 11, 55
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 12, 13
  • Washington Wizards: 15, 44
  • San Antonio Spurs: 18, 49
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: 20, 48
  • Utah Jazz: 21, 52
  • Indiana Pacers: 23, 50
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 25, 47
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: 53, 57

Teams with fewer than two picks:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers (1): 8
  • Milwaukee Bucks (1): 17
  • Portland Trail Blazers (1): 24
  • Boston Celtics (1): 27
  • Golden State Warriors (1): 28
  • Detroit Pistons (1): 42
  • Houston Rockets (1): 46
  • New Orleans Pelicans (1): 51
  • Miami Heat (0)
  • Toronto Raptors (0)

Without First-Rounder, Pelicans Relying On Internal Growth

2018 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: New Orleans Pelicans

Re-signing Jrue Holiday to a massive five-year contract during the 2017 offseason ensured that the Pelicans didn’t have any cap room available last year, and that figures to be the case again this summer. Now, the big question will be whether the team can bring back its two key free agents – DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo – without going deep into luxury-tax territory.

Here’s where things currently stand for the Pelicans financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2018:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

  • None

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Projected Salary Cap: $101,000,000

Projected Cap Room: None

  • Even if the Pelicans were to renounce all their free agents and waive all their non-guaranteed salaries, their total team salary would still reach a minimum of $96,447,177, creating less than $5MM in cap room. The mid-level exception projects to be worth about $8.57MM, so New Orleans is better off remaining an over-the-cap team. Plus, cap holds for Cousins and Rondo would put the club way over the cap anyway.
  • For what it’s worth, Cousins’ max salary projects to be $30.3MM. Adding that figure to the Pelicans’ current guaranteed salaries increases team salary to $122,590,622 for just eight players, meaning New Orleans would have to go well past the tax line to fill out its roster. As such, if the club plans to bring back Cousins on a max deal, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one or two of those other guaranteed contracts traded or waived.

Footnotes:

  1. Diallo’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 7.
  2. Okafor’s salary becomes guaranteed for $100K after July 12.
  3. Miller’s salary becomes guaranteed for $300K after June 28, then fully guaranteed after July 24.
  4. Liggins’ salary becomes guaranteed for $50K after July 15, then guaranteed for $75K after July 30.

Note: Rookie scale cap holds are estimates based on salary cap projections and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Offseason Outlook For Pelicans

  • After a successful regular season and a competitive run through the postseason, the Pelicans enter the offseason with optimism in abundance. Scott Kushner of The Advocate looks ahead to New Orleans’ offseason and big decisions that will need to be made.