Many people coin the phrase “rebuilding” for the New Orleans Pelicans, which is not a fair indication of how talented the team really is.
The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the most interesting teams in the NBA. Coming off of an offseason in which they traded one of the best players in the league in Anthony Davis, many would expect this to be a dull year in comparison for the Pelicans.
The reality has been completely opposite as this upcoming season is arguably the most exciting since the team moved to New Orleans. Davis gave some great years and it was very exciting when DeMarcus Cousins was traded but this fresh beginning is something else.
In return for Davis, the Pelicans got enough young talent and draft capital that would have left the team set for the future. However, they also landed an extremely important piece to accelerate everything and that is none other than Zion Williamson.
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With new veterans in J.J. Redick and Derrick Favors to go alongside Jrue Holiday and the rest of the young guys, the Pelicans are not only one of the most changed teams in the league but are one of the most compelling.
Yet, because of their youth and the fact that they traded Davis, some are still labeling them as a rebuilding team. While it is understandable why, this team is far too talented to be dubbed as a rebuilding team.
Yes, they are young. Yes, for the most part, they are inexperienced and that could hurt the team in some capacity when the going gets tough. It would be a disservice to completely ignore these things.
But this is not the Phoenix Suns, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Chicago Bulls or the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is a team that has jumped that rebuilding phase and is already in the phase where they can win games.
Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball are already along in their progressions and should be primed for a breakout year in 2019 in a new environment. They have established vets that are still talented, and in Holiday’s case, have a borderline all-star candidate.
And while there will be hiccups with Zion Williamson at times, he is still the most talented rookie we have seen since LeBron James and there is no doubt that he will be above league average. He will not suffer the same dud rookie year that we have seen from other high-profile rookies in the past.
These other teams that are dubbed as rebuilding do not have these same assets. This is a team that is going to go out and compete in every single game and is probably going to win most of them.
This is not to say that the playoffs are a lock for the New Orleans Pelicans, but they are definitely in the mix as this year serves as the start of a new winning culture in New Orleans. Shortly enough, the Pelicans are going to be right in the thick of title contention.
Something that can take half a decade for rebuilding teams is going to take the Pelicans around two years.
What kind of rebuilding team has that kind of turnaround? None. That is why the New Orleans Pelicans should not be considered to be a rebuilding team, regardless of the technical term.