The New Orleans Pelicans play basketball in the National Basketball Association (NBA) which play as a part of the Western Conference in the Southwest Division along with Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets. They play their home games in the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
The team, however, has not always been known as the New Orleans Pelicans. They were originally called the New Orleans Hornets when the team was first introduced into the NBA in the 2002-03 season, when the owner of the Charlotte Hornets at that time, George Shinn, moved the franchise from Charlotte to New Orleans. However, as a result of the devastating effect of Hurricane Katrina, the team temporarily moves base to Oklahoma City… and for two seasons were officially known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. However, when the situation improved, the team then moved back permanently to New Orleans just in time for the 2007-08 season.
After five years, in 2013, the team announced that they would be rebranding as the New Orleans Pelicans. This means that the Charlotte’s name, franchise history and records between 2008 and 2002 would be given back to the original city, where it would be used by the Charlotte Bobcats – which then became the new Charlotte Hornets in 2014.
In the 18 seasons since the team moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, the team has amassed a regular-season record of 671-771 in total and has managed playoff qualification just seven times. However, they have had a few achievements that include one division win and two playoff series victories. This is a new team that hasn’t had a massive impact and will look to create a more impressive future by being creative with their trades and draft picks.
The New Orleans Pelicans can boast (or not) about having had eight head coaches since 2002. Paul Silas was the holdover Coach from when the team was the Charlotte Hornets and was fired after the first season in New Orleans. Then Tim Floyd joined from the Bulls and despite making playoffs again he was binned for Byron Scott. Scott was the longest-serving Head Coach, joining in 2004-05 and almost getting through to the 2009-10 season. He was fired and General Manager, Jeff Bower, took his place. However, he lasted less than one season before being fired as Coach and GM at the end of the 2010 season. Dell Demps was hired as GM and he took on Monty Williams. He was then fired at the end of 2015 and replaced by Alvin Gentry as Head Coach number 6. Gentry lasted for a respectable 5 years and was replaced by Steve Gundy… who only managed one season. The newest Head Coach – and the eight to take the helm – is Willie Green.
2021 New Orleans Pelicans Draft Picks
Then it comes to how much of an impact your decisions can make, a team’s draft position is of the utmost importance. With their draft picks, the Pelicans managed to end up with Trey Murphy III and Herbert Jones (Herb Jones) with picks number 17 and 35… They did also pick Greg Brown III who was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers and Jared Butler, who was traded to Utah Jazz. But what will Murphy and Jones bring to the team?
With the end of the Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe contracts, there was some draft capital to play with. Some may believe that they are making moves that should have been made a few years before and are now in the process of mending past mistakes. The fact that they weren’t higher up in the lottery draft may have been a bit of a handicap but they did manage to get hold of Trey Murphy III, who is similar to Moses Moody but isn’t as much of a playmaker. However, he does have skills that will certainly help the Pelicans for the upcoming season. Trey Murphy is pretty much ready to go straight away and there won’t be as much pressure for him to play too much above his current standing.
Then there’s the choice of Herb Jones, this pick also seemed to address the Pelican’s need to be more flexible down the wing. Although the shooting isn’t necessarily on point yet, this isn’t an immediate necessity, so it gives him a bit of breathing space. Herb Jones brings the New Orleans Pelicans a ‘defense first’ mentality which will be helpful to the team further on in the season – alongside excellent passing ability and ball-handling skills, especially for a guy of his size and stature.
Moving Forward as a Team
This has certainly been a testing time for the team – and historically, they haven’t had too much success. so moving forward as a team, they will want to become a more solid and stable team – and use their draft picks to plug the holes that they currently have, which has been evident in recent years.
In terms of team structure, there has been a number of changes. In April 2019, David Griffin became the new Executive President of Basketball Operations and Trajan Langdon became their latest General Manager. This team took the decision of selecting Zion Williamson with the first overall 2019 NBA draft pick. They also selected Alen Smailagic and Jordan Bone – but these were both traded to the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks. The team was rewarded with Atlanta Hawks players Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Marcos Louzada Silva. They also signed Williamson to a rookie scale contract. He was named Rookie of the Month for February averaging 25.7 points per game.
Brandon Ingram also had a great season and was named Western Conference Player of the Week for December 23 to 29, where he averaged 25.3 points. Having such a big season saw Ingram being named an NBA All-Star, which was a career first.
The Pelicans were one of the teams to be invited back to the 2020 NBA Bubble but didn’t make it through to the postseason – which was yet another failure to make the playoffs.
The team has had excellent players with excellent performances – but haven’t managed to make it really count in terms of final results. Moving forward as a team, they need to solidify and build upon the skilled players they have … such as ‘Point Zion’ and use their draft picks to help them make more of a postseason impact.
Current New Orleans Pelicans Players Under Contract
- Brandon Ingram
- Devonte’ Graham
- Jonas Valanciunas
- Zion Williamson
- Josh Hart
- Tomas Satoransky
- Jaxson Hayes
- Kira Lewis Jr.
- Garrett Temple
- Trey Murphy III
- Nickeil Alexander-Walker
- Didi Louzada
- Willy Hernangomez
- Herbert Jones
- Naji Marshall
- John Petty Jr.
- Daulton Hommes
- Jose Alvarado
Current New Orleans Pelicans Free Agents
- Lonzo Ball (restricted)
- Josh Hart (restricted)
- Willy Hernangomez
- James Johnson
- Didi Louzada (restricted)
- James Nunnally
New Orleans Pelicans 2021 NBA Draft
- Trey Murphy III
- Herbert Jones
Previous New Orleans Pelicans Draft Selections Since 2000
Year Round Pick Player Pos Age Pre-Draft Team
2020 1 13 Kira Lewis Jr PG 20 Alabama
2020 2 39 Elijah Hughes SF 22 Syracuse
2020 2 42 Nick Richards C 22 Kentucky
2020 2 60 Sam Merrill G 24 Utah State
2019 1 1 Zion Williamson PF 18 Duke
2019 2 39 Alen Smailagic PF 18 Santa Cruz Warriors
2019 2 57 Jordan Bone SG 21 Tennessee
2018 2 51 Tony Carr PG 20 Penn State
2017 2 40 Dwayne Bacon SF 21 Florida State
2017 2 52 Edward Sumner G 21 Xavier
2016 1 6 Buddy Hield G 23 Oklahoma
2016 2 39 David Michineau PG 22 Chalon Sur Saone
2016 2 40 Diamond Stone C 19 Maryland
2015 2 56 Branden Dawson F 22 Michigan State
2013 1 6 Nerlens Noel FC 19 Kentucky
2012 1 1 Anthony Davis PF 19 Kentucky
2012 1 10 Austin Rivers SG 19 Duke
2012 2 46 Darius Miller GF 22 Kentucky
2011 2 45 Josh Harrellson F 22 Kentucky
2010 1 11 Cole Aldrich C 21 Kansas
2009 1 21 Darren Collison PG 21 UCLA
2008 1 27 Darrell Arthur PF 20 Kansas
2007 1 13 Julian Wright F 20 Kansas
2007 2 43 Adam Haluska G 23 Iowa
2006 1 12 Hilton Armstrong C 21 Connecticut
2006 1 15 Cedric Simmons FC 20 NC State
2006 2 43 Marquinhos Vinicius F 22 Objetivo Sao Carlos (Brazil)
2005 1 4 Chris Paul PG 20 Wake Forest
2005 2 33 Brandon Bass PF 20 LSU
2004 1 18 J R Smith SG 18 St Benedicts Prep School (NJ)
2004 2 44 Tim Pickett G 23 Florida State
2003 1 18 David West PF 22 Xavier
2003 2 48 James Lang C 19 Central Park High School
New Orleans Pelicans Draft Picks FAQs
How Many First Round Picks Did the Pelicans Have in 2021?
The Pelicans actually owned four draft picks in 2021, after trades, they ended up acquiring 2 players to join the team for the upcoming season. The Pelicans had only one first-round pick and three second-round pick options.
Who Did the Pelicans Draft in 2021?
With their four picks, the team originally picked Ziaire Williams, Herb Jones, Jared Butler and Greg Brown III. However, after making trades, they ended up with Trey Murphy III and Herb Jones as new additions to the team roster. Trey Murphy is a 6ft 8, 206 lbs 21-year old player who played college basketball for Virginia. Herb Jones is a 6ft 6, 206 lbs 22-year-old player who was drafted from Alabama.
Has George Hill Ever Played for the New Orleans Pelicans?
Although his name was thrown around in the New Orleans Pelicans Front Office. However, at that time the team opted to extend Steven Adams contract and keep Bledsoe rather than get George Hill. This means that the Pelicans are one of the few teams that he never played for after making his way through the NBA teams including San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers and returning to the Milwaukee Bucks where he currently plays.