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Steve Geller

"WWL First News" Sports Anchor
Weekdays 5am-10am

"Sports Talk" Producer
Weekdays 4pm-8pm

Twitter: @stevegellerWWL
Email: steve@wwl.com
Posts from June 2014

Steve: Pelicans draft recap
With no selections in this year's NBA Draft, it was uncertain if the Pelicans would be making any moves to get back in.  The first round dragged on with no action from New Orleans, but GM Dell Demps dialed up a familiar trade partner in the 76ers to obtain the 47th overall pick Russ Smith out of Louisville. 

New Orleans sent back to Philly the rights to Pierre Jackson, who was part of the Jrue Holiday draft night trade last year with the Sixers.  

The Pelicans net a point guard who averaged 18.2 points, 4.6 assists and 2 steals per game for the Cardinals last year while earning First Team All-American honors.  He is also known as a staunch defender, which Pels head coach Monty Williams will absolutely love.  

One thing is for sure about Smith: he feels slighted by being passed over by so many ballclubs and will enter his rookie campaign in New Orleans with a huge chip on his shoulder. DraftExpress.com had him rated as the 28th best overall player in the draft, which would have made him a late 1st round draft pick.  Hopefully the others teams' neglect winds up being the Pelicans fortune!  

 (1) Comments
Tags :  
Topics: Sports
Locations: LouisvilleNew Orleans
People: Monty WilliamsPierre JacksonRuss Smith

Steve: Will Pels get back into NBA Draft?
It doesn’t seem as if draft night in the NBA will be very eventful for the home team as the Pelicans do not hold a 1st or 2nd round pick.  Their first rounder was sent to the Sixers as part of last year’s draft day trade for point guard Jrue Holiday and what ended up being the rights to Pierre Jackson.  The 5 ft 10 point guard out of Baylor played in the Developmental League and in Turkey last year.

But wait! GM Dell Demps has reportedly been working the phones trying to jump back into this year’s draft as he could be feeling the hot seat to field a ballclub that can make it to the postseason:  Small forward is the definitely the glaring need for this ballclub as they seem to have addressed the center position (see below).  The biggest issue last season was injuries.  The roster was decimated losing key players like to Holiday, Ryan Anderson and Jason Smith with season ending injuries early on.  Even Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon missed time at least 10 games each.  So obviously health is really the teams’ biggest need this season. 

As for trading back into the NBA draft, I’m not quite sure what assets the Pelicans would be willing to offer that would appeal to another team.  The rumors of Jrue Holiday being on the block seem ludicrous to me as I believe he is a key part of the franchise building a champion.  Trading him would be like saying the franchise made a mistake last year by dealing away two first rounder’s for him.

Another name frequently mentioned is Ryan Anderson.  I don’t see this happening either, for two reasons:  1) His 3 point shooting ability was sorely missed a year ago and the Pels are just a better team WITH him.  The threat of the long ball really opens up things inside for Davis. 2) Anderson’s status is still a bit of a question mark.  He suffered a serious back injury, had surgery and will hopefully be back to his normal self come the start of camp, but it’s still an unknown.  That’s a big red flag for teams interested in him and I don’t think New Orleans would be able to recoup his true value.

READ MORE: Louisiana basketball stars expected to be selected in NBA draft

Don’t even mention Eric Gordon.  While fans and the team would love to deal the often injured shooting guard, no one is willing to take on the reaming two years of his max money contract.  It seems as if we are stuck with Gordon, like it or not. The Pelicans may regulate him to the role of 6th man since Tyreke Evans thrived when put in a starting role.

That really leaves Pierre Jackson and future draft picks as the remaining ammunition.  Jackson played well in the D-League and overseas.  He caught the attention of the basketball world when he set an NBA Development League record with 58 points in a game and is chomping at the bit for his chance in the pros.

And as for future picks, Yahoo Sports reported late last night that the Pels with be sending a protected 2015 1st round draft pick to the Houston Rockets for center Omer Asik.  The Rockets are also sending over $1.5 million to New Orleans as part of the deal.

This move gives the team the big man they’ve been searching for to pair up with All-Star Antony Davis.  Asik is 7 feet tall, 255 pounds and is a staunch defender and elite rebounder.  The deal cannot become official until July due to league rules.

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Steve: Spurs coach mocks King James
Remember when Lebron did this?

King James has 2 rings but he and the Miami Heat were demolished in the NBA Finals in 5 games this year by the Spurs.  San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich decided he would count his actual championships at their victory parade yesterday. 

Well played sir.  As usual, Pop wins.
 (2) Comments
Tags :  
Topics: Sports
Locations: San Antonio
People: Gregg PopovichJames

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