There’s several reasons for bringing over Didi Louzada at this point in the season, but there are three key factors. Due to injuries sustained by the backcourt of New Orleans (Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Lonzo Ball at one point in time), the Pels were in need of filling a roster spot. Louzada’s frame and skillset foot the bill. Along with the fact that the Pelicans are hard-pressed against the luxury tax (his tax hit would count as zero years of service because he was drafted by the Pels) and the fiery Brazilian has a lot to learn about what New Orleans does on the floor, the timing makes sense.
Over 40 games with the Kings, Louzada averaged 9.5 points, 1.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 29.8 percent from three in 23.5 minutes a game. Not exactly gaudy numbers for a player who was seen as having super-star potential in the NBL. However, there’s been no love lost by Griffin since sending Louzada overseas. “We were able to get Didi really far ahead of the curve in his development,” Griffin said in March of 2020. “Because we knew unequivocally that (Weaver) and his staff were going to do a phenomenal job. It was a really positive thing for us that Sydney was the team Didi ended up with. His development on a very veteran team that had the best record in their league the vast majority of the season, as a starter and defensive stopper, is exactly what we wanted. The future is very bright there as a potential three-and-D stopper who can guard multiple positions.”
The excitement surrounding Louzada is largely based on his defensive intensity and engagement. His perimeter defense is widely renound in the NBL. “He’s been an impact defender for the Kings this year,” Santamaria said. “Adam Ford (current head coach for the Kings) has had the ability to put Didi on the opposition’s primary offensive weapon on the perimeter. … He’s been a really good on-ball defender. His ability to fight over picks, impact the ball, play from a low, wide base, be really physical and use his lateral quickness: those things have been big (positives).”