The New Orleans Pelicans have made a lot of moves this offseason to better shape the roster around Zion Williamson. However, the teams look like a mix of matching pieces as day two of free agency approaches. They left Jrue Holiday and replaced him with Eric Bledsoe. George Hill came into this deal but is now heading to OKC Thunder to welcome the Pelicans’ latest move.
NOLA traded for longtime OKC Thunder center Steven Adams. In the deal, the Pelicans gave up on George Hill and a few second-round picks, as well as a future first round. That’s a pretty steep price for a center that averages around 10 points and will become one of the highest paid players on the team.
As part of Steven Adams’ four-team trade, Thunder also receives George Hill, Darius Miller, 2023 Denver protected first-round pick and second-round pick in 2023 (via Charlotte) and 2024 (via Washington), according to reports. sources at ESPN.
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
While the move doesn’t seem to have an obvious advantage on the pitch, this deal works in a way we don’t understand at first glance. So why did the Pelicans make this deal and how does Steven Adams fit into this team?
New Orleans Pelicans Add Mentor
Who was going to mentor Zion Williamson? It wasn’t going to be JJ Redick’s sweet shooter, that’s for sure. While Adams doesn’t share the same style of play as Zion, he can teach him a lot that will help him be a consistent defensive and offensive threat.
Adams is one of the league’s most beloved players, and he’s still not very old. He’s only 27, which means he’s got his prime ahead of him. While not aligned with the super-young squad around him, he provides valuable playoff experience for this group.
In the field, this movement is more difficult to explain. The Pelicans have had a bad shot before, but this move affects that even more. Adams can’t stretch the ground, while Lonzo Ball, Bledsoe, and Zion aren’t the most reliable shooters either. This will put a lot of pressure on Brandon Ingram and players like JJ Redick on the bench.
However, Bledsoe, Zion and Adams are sure to have some of the toughest screens opponents will have all season. Many of their opponents would need to stock up on blocks of ice before facing the Pelicans.
There is still time for the pelicans to address the shortcomings on their list. With Adams, they have a solid cross down the middle for the rest of the squad. His rebounding and defensive prowess should be enough to allow Zion to focus more on the offensive side of the game, where he truly excels.
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