Prioritizing Changes the Pelicans Need to Make

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Oct 31, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) and head coach Alvin Gentry during the second half of a game against the Golden State Warriors at Smoothie King Center. The Warriors defeated the Pelicans 134-120. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for the New Orleans Pelicans to make changes, that point cannot be debated any longer.

Talk to me in 2013 and I might tell you that Jrue Holiday will be a perennial, healthy, reliable All-Star. I might also say Gordon finds his health and emerges the monster we all saw in his Clipper days. I might tell you that Tyreke learns to be a winner, breaks his bad habits, and succeeds as a versatile and lethal “Manu Ginobli-type.”

Today, we know that at least the last two are impossible. Gordon is a low IQ player with terrible defense who provides streaky shooting, and nothing much else. Tyreke is a very talented player, but he will never give this team more than what he is giving them now. By that I mean Tyreke is what he is at this point, and the idea that he could ever “buy-in” and flourish under Gentry is simply impossible.

The first one could still be true. Jrue is averaging 20.3 points, 6.9 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per 36 minutes this year, while shooting 46% on twos and 40% on threes.

Nov 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Pelicans defeated the Suns 120-114. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If Jrue’s restriction comes off and he remains that player, he could be a legitimate 2nd option on this team. We’ve never truly seen a “healthy” Jrue and for all we know he could be the All-Star he was in 2013 with better shot selection, and more talent around him.

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So I say we hold onto Jrue. An asset you want to keep is an asset which has more value to you then to the buyer. Meanwhile, an asset you want to sell is an asset which has less value to you then to the buyer.

Jrue’s value is low because of his health the past two seasons, and so even if other teams see that his play has improved, his value will still be higher with us.

Outside of Jrue, serious changes need to be made.

The caveat is that these changes are based on the ultimate goal of winning a championship. I believe each and every one of the following changes needs to be made, but I’ll rank them by which need to happen most immediately.

Let’s start fixing this team.

The first thing the Pelicans need to do is……….

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