As the New Orleans Pelicans build around Zion Williamson, they will start with veteran sharpshooter JJ Redick as an immediate impact player.
On opening night, one would assume that Redick would join Jrue Holiday as the Pelicans’ starting backcourt. Their frontcourt project to be Brandon Ingram and Williamson with Derrick Favors likely their starting big man. They still have $1.7M in projected cap space as well as a portion of their room exception to use.
Perhaps the biggest implication of the move to add Redick is that Lonzo Ball may come off the bench, at least to start the season. During his two-year career, the former No. 2 overall pick has not been in the starting lineup in just five games.
The team’s frontcourt was initially more unclear considering 19-year-old Jaxson Hayes was unlikely ready for their starting lineup. He was selected at No. 8 overall by New Orleans, but will presumably require more time to develop than his first-round counterpart in Williamson. Their cap space helped them land Favors, who provides more immediate help.
Others in the second unit include sharpshooters Josh Hart and E’Twaun Moore. Both can provide a necessary scoring punch who have performed well on spot-up opportunities and off the catch.
Otherwise, the players on their roster are listed below with the position that they play. Those with an asterisk next to them still have deals that are unclear about how they will factor into the rotation moving forward.
Didi Louzada Silva is a second-round pick without contract details that have been released. Zylan Cheatham is currently signed to a two-way deal as an undrafted free agent. Aubrey Dawkins and DaQuan Jeffries have Exhibit-10 deals that can be converted to two-way deals. Their performance during the upcoming summer league competition will be a key indicator of how they will be used next season.
It’s worth noting that Jahlil Okafor, Christian Wood, Kenrich Williams and Dairis Bertāns are all on non-guaranteed deals and can still be waived without a cap hit.
Didi Louzada Silva*
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