Are the newly-named side heading in the right direction again?
While the name might have generated a few jokes for NBA fans and pundits, the New Orleans Pelicans won’t be a laughing matter for many sides this season.
The way the franchise has accumulated talent in the past two years has remarkable similarities to how the Oklahoma City Thunder did so, and we all know how that story is panning out.
Through a combination of the draft and adding free agent talent the Pelicans have a exciting and young team that could begin to make some noise in the NBA playoffs within the next three years -if not this one.
All-star guard Jrue Holiday will add a spark and drive to go with a formidable back-court winger rotation of Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Austin Rivers.
The other big talking point in the Pelicans side is Anthony Davis, who will be looking to build on his solid rookie season where he showed he could be a big man to fear for the next ten years.
While still being on the light side for a true powerful four or five, Davis has sought to rectify that by adding weight to his frame over the off-season.
His numbers after the All-Star break last year also showed what he can bring to the table for New Orleans as he averaged 15.3 points and 9,3 rebounds in the 24 games after the break.
Except to see those figures creep up towards 17 and 11 this season.
However, that is in part due to their lack of a true centre this season with Robin Lopez shipped out in the deal that brought Evans to the club.
In his place is left journeyman Jason Smith, Greg Stiemasma and rookie Jeff Withey, hardly a front court to have the rest of league quaking in their shoes.
New Orleans Pelicans predicted finish: 10th
Front court: 7.5
Back court: 8