Five Ways the Pelicans Could Become a Championship Contender
It’s hard not to feel for the New Orleans Pelicans. They rep one of the NBA’s most exciting cities. They have one of the top five players in the NBA. They even hosted the All-Star game last year! And yet when discussing an NBA championship, they’re rarely considered contenders. But there are ways, Pels fans, there are ways.
Win in 7 Years: Trade Anthony Davis for Picks
Call it blasphemous! It very well might be. When you have a generational talent like Anthony Davis, traditional knowledge says you don’t trade him. You do everything you can to build around him. But when you have a generationally talented team, a once a century team like the Warriors, what other choice do you have? If you can’t win the western conference any time soon, trade AD while he still has time on his contract and score some sweet draft picks. I’m calling the Suns. Then scout, scout, scout, and set your sights on 2025.
Win in 5 Years: Hire Becky Hammon
San Antonio did something that few organizations have done successfully. They built a team around a style of play. They signed and drafted prospects that fit that style of play. They took nurture over nature and groomed players like Manu Ginobili into irreplaceable weapons because they know and fit the system. So as opposed to getting a coach that will fit your players, get players that will fit your once in a lifetime coaching prospect. Boston just did!
Alas, they are rarer than superstar players, these coaches. These Popoviches, these Stevenses, these Spoelstras. Lucky for you, San Antonio has one waiting in the wings. Her name is Becky Hammon. Pay her.
Win in 3 Years: Trade Everything Except Anthony Davis
Picks, players, coaches, cash. Trade absolutely everything you have except for Anthony Davis. You may never get a player this good again. Put him on the big stage now.
There are two things you need to win a championship: a top 10 player and another top 10 player. You have one. DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t quite make the cut, but he would be a great third option. Trade away your entire future and try to win right now by acquiring a Kristaps Porzingis, a Devin Booker, a Ben Simmons. You robbed Sacramento last year. Call James Dolan. Rob him.
Win in 2 Years: Go Ham in Free Agency
Cash rules everything around the NBA. If someone can convince Tom Benson, also the owner of the New Orleans Saints, to spend his fortune in order to become the first team owner with an NFL and NBA championship, the Pels could have a shot at the chip as early as 2020 and maybe 2019. It will take money, though, and lots of it. After that, the sky’s the limit.
This year’s free agency class includes Kevin Durant, JJ Redick, Jamal Crawford, Eric Bledsoe, Hassan Whiteside, Zach Levine, Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas, the list goes on! There is more than enough talent in that pool, along with your stud Anthony Davis, to put together a winning roster. If you’re worried about cap space, don’t be! You’re a billionaire! Malcolm Gladwell explains this strategy here.
Win Next Year: Sign LeBron James
What more is there to say? He’s the best in the world. He’s been to the Finals seven times in a row. This year would make eight. Get him on your team and you get there. How do you do it? Get a great guard to go along with your queen piece, Anthony Davis. Damian Lillard could work. So could Chris Paul. Then offer LeBron an ownership stake in your franchise. Yes, I just said that.
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(Cropped image courtesy Antioch Smith via Wikimedia Commons)