STAYING: Alexis Ajinca, Ryan Anderson, Omer Asik, Luke Babbitt, Norris Cole, Dante Cunningham, Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Quincy Pondexter.
ADDED: Jeff Adrien (Free Agent), Bryce Dejean-Jones (Iowa State), Chris Douglas-Roberts (Free Agent), Alonzo Gee (Portland), Jerome Jordan (Brooklyn), Sean Kilpatrick (Delaware 87ers), Kendrick Perkins (Cleveland) and Corey Webster (Mega Leks).
GONE: Toney Douglas (Indiana), Jimmer Fredette (San Antonio) and Jeff Withey (Utah).
STRENGTHS: Anthony Davis … He’s a clear candidate for both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year … Alters games on both sides of the court … His combination of size, athleticism, motor, skill and basketball IQ is almost unfair … The Brow has added a three-point shot to his offensive repertoire, which could make him an even bigger threat … He will once again be paired up front with Omer Asik, an efficient center that sets good picks, rebounds the ball well and doesn’t ask for many shots … It’s a terrific defensive duo in the paint … No wonder why New Orleans led the league in blocks in 2014-15 … Nice amount of talent on the perimeter with Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans … Ryan Anderson is a high-quality stretch four … Pretty good three-point shooting … Alvin Gentry is one of the best offensive minds in the game … Expect more scoring and a more up-tempo style with him on the sidelines.
WEAKNESSES: They just depend too much on Davis, who has a history of minor injuries … He has missed at least 14 games each of his three seasons as a pro … The talent gap between Davis and the No. 2 player on the team (Holiday?) is huge … No star sidekick … The durability of many Pelican players should be a reason of concern … Gordon, Evans, Holiday, Anderson, Asik and Quincy Pondexter have all been sidelined for long stretches due to injury recently … Asik is actually going to miss the start of the season with a right calf strain … Norris Cole is not one of the best backup point guards around … Perimeter defense needs improvement … Subpar depth.
PREDICTION: 4th in the Southwest Division / 7th in the Western Conference.