The New Orleans Pelicans have made another step to add to their talented core. The Vertical’s Shams Charania reported the Pelicans have agreed to a one-year deal with veteran point guard Rajon Rondo.
Here’s a look at their updated roster and projected starting lineup for 2017-18.
C- DeMarcus Cousins, Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca
PF- Anthony Davis, Cheick Diallo
SF- Solomon Hill, Axel Toupane, Quincy Pondexter
SG- Jrue Holiday, E’Twaun Moore, Jordan Crawford
PG- Rajon Rondo, Frank Jackson (R), Quinn Cook
Rondo averaged 7.8 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds for the Bulls last season. Rondo was more effective in the playoffs where he showed glimpses of his all-star past.
Right now, we have Jrue Holiday sliding over to shooting guard to give Rondo a starting role. It also helps the Pelicans get their five best players on the floor together. Unfortunately, Holiday has struggled to stay healthy, and Rondo gives the Pelicans some depth at point guard.
Rookie Frank Jackson should be able to contribute right away. Jackson has the flexibility to play both guard positions. Rondo gives the Pelicans yet another former Kentucky player. DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis both attended Kentucky as well.
The Pelicans made the decision to bring back Holiday earlier this off-season. Holiday signed a five-year, $126 million contract.
It was a hefty price tag for a player that has struggled to stay on the floor. However, the Pelicans are doing everything they can to make their squad a compelling option for Cousins to remain with the team. Cousins is a free agent after the 2017-18 season. The Pelicans acquired him during All-Star weekend, giving up young players like Buddy Hield and their 2017 first round pick.
The trade did not lead to the immediate results Pelicans fans had hoped. The Pelicans were in contention for a playoff spot, but were unable to gain ground with the addition of Cousins. The Pelicans are hoping the team can improve with Cousins getting a full off-season with the team.
New Orleans is offering a lineup that runs counter to what appears to be the decreasing value of big men in the league. With Davis and Cousins, the Pelicans have their version of the Twin Towers.