Over/Under: New Orleans Pelicans 2023-24


Key Additions

  • Jordan Hawkins (draft)

Key Subtractions

  • Jaxson Hayes
  • Garrett Temple


  • Guards
    • CJ McCollum, Jose Alvarado, Kira Lewis Jr.
  • Wings
    • Brandon Ingram, Herbert Jones, Dyson Daniels
  • Forwards
    • Zion Williamson, Trey Murphy, Naji Marshall
  • Bigs
    • Jonas Valanciunas, Larry Nance, Cody Zeller

Random thoughts, opinions, comments, declarations, queries, editorials, etc.

“If Zion can stay healthy…” Stop me if you’ve heard that one before. As a personal trainer once told me, “If you don’t take care of your body, your body won’t take care of you.” If Zion Williamson, a professional athlete who’s making 10s of millions of dollars, who has an entire team of trainers, medical staff, and nutritionists surrounding him nearly 24/7, can’t stay in shape, then I ask you, what chance do the rest of us have!?

The Pels were 1st in the West when Zion went down with a bad hammy. That may be legit, or it may be fool’s gold. They have a ton of trade assets so they have the ability to make a midseason move if they’re struggling. Which actually might be a good idea because they’re at the Tax line and they’ll need to worry about re-signing or extending guys like Valanciunas, Trey Murphy & Naji Marshall. Kira Lewis has been surpassed in the rotation by Alvarado, so he’s expendable. They have the talent, undoubtedly. A legit 10 deep team, once Murphy gets back. Also, undoubtedly, they don’t have much shooting. Murphy, Ingram, and CJ can shoot, but Ingram refuses to play off the ball (see his USA Basketball performance as proof), CJ can’t guard anyone, and Murphy is injured. Jordan Hawkins is in prime position to play important stretch-the-floor-for-Zion-and-Brandon minutes. But the Pels are also in prime position to trade for a big time shooter, perhaps someone like Zach Lavine, for example. 

Last Year – Interesting Stats

  • Zion has played in 114 out of a possible 328 since entering the league
  • Ingram has played in 223 out of a possible 328 since coming to New Orleans
  • Ingram averaged a career high 24.7ppg on 48% shooting (39% from 3)
  • Ingram averaged 6ppg at USA Basketball. Austin Reaves averaged 14ppg
  • 1st in the league in Opponent’s 3P%, which is sure to regress to the mean
  • 5th in rebounds
  • 29th in 3PA/game

Keys to Success

Zion’s health, Ingram’s health, Trey gets back sooner rather than later, Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado become legit outside threats, they let Jonas cook in the post every once in a while

Potential Obstacles

Ingram vs Zion #1 Option Status becomes a real issue, Trey Murphy’s injury lasts into the 2nd half of the season, Zion can’t keep his weight below 300lbs, Herb Jones 33.5% three point percent doesn’t improve, CJ can’t keep up with little guards anymore

Hot takes

  • Willie Green doesn’t make it through the full season
  • Zion will be in trade rumors by New Years Day
  • Brandon Ingram has a monster season as redemption for USA Basketball
  • CJ is traded at the deadline


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