2015 New Orleans Pelicans

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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New Orleans Pelicans (Last Year: 45-37)

2015-16 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Anthony Davis/*Jeff Withey

PF: Ryan Anderson

SF: Tyreke Evans

SG: ^Eric Gordon/Quincy Pondexter

PG: Jrue Holiday/*Norris Cole/#Toney Douglas

NBA Free Agents:

^SG-Eric Gordon (PO)

*PG-Norris Cole (RFA)

*C-Jeff Withey (RFA)

#PG-Toney Douglas (TO)

C-Omer Asik (UFA)

C-Alexis Ajinca (UFA)

PF-Dante Cunningham (UFA)

G-Jimmer Fredette (UFA)

SF-Luke Babbitt (UFA)

2015-16 Team Salary: Approximately $56.2 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Big Man: Omer Asik is a free agent, so the Pelicans need to find a true center if they are unable to re-sign him. Anthony Davis will see a lot of minutes at center again this year, but New Orleans still needs a big body to bang down low in order to allows Davis to cause matchup nightmares for other teams elsewhere on the floor.

2. Upgrade Bench Play: With a good amount of players hitting free agency this summer, the Pelicans must make upgrades to their bench. New Orleans will have to decide on what to do with Norris Cole, and could be looking for a point guard, but must also find a couple of reserve wings and another post player.

3. Shop Gordon: Due about $15.5 million next season, there is no way Eric Gordon opts out of his contract this summer. With that huge salary, New Orleans should shop Gordon and see if a team looking to shed future cap space is willing to part with a solid piece or two so the Pelicans can upgrade their depth. If they are unable to move Gordon, they will have a ton of cap space for the summer of 2016 when his contract comes off the books.

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