Latest New Orleans Pelicans News

    New Orleans Pelicans Franchise Information

    Have a read on below at some quick stats and facts on the New Orleans Pelicans to get you started: 

    Established:2002
    Stadium:Smoothie King Center
    Colours:Navy blue, gold & red
    Hall of Famers:None
    Hall of Fame Coaches:None
    Rivals:Dallas Mavericks & San Antonio Spurs
    Legends:Chris Paul, David West, Baron Davis, James Posey, Peja Stojakovic, Chris Kaman & Emeka Okafor
    Retired Numbers:7
    Conference: Western Conference
    Division:Southwest Division
    NBA Championships0

    New Orleans Pelicans History

    After Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn was publicly despised in the city, he decided to move the franchise to New Orleans, creating the New Orleans Hornets. As Charlotte competed in the Eastern Conference, for the first two years in New Orleans the Hornets still were part of the East, making the playoffs but being eliminated in the first round in both years. 

    After Charlotte was awarded a team prior to the 2004-05 season, New Orleans moved to the Western Conference, and the move was not favourable as a tougher schedule and injuries to key players saw their record decline to 18-64. 

    This poor record allowed the Hornets to draft Wake Forest point guard, Chris Paul, with the fourth pick in the 2005 draft. Before the 2005-06 season, Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and made New Orleans an unplayable location, so the Hornets temporarily relocated to Oklahoma City, becoming the New Orleans / Oklahoma City Hornets for two seasons. 

    During this time Chris Paul won Rookie of the Year and the team improved, but were unable to make the playoffs, before returning to New Orleans in the 2007 offseason. To celebrate their return to New Orleans, the NBA awarded the 2008 All Star Game to the city. 

    Paul along with Peja Stojakovic, David West and Tyson Chandler led the Hornets to their first division title and the second best record in the Western Conference, and all time franchise best record, 56-26. 

    Byron Scott was awarded 2008 Coach of the Year, whilst leading the Hornets to this record and their first ever playoff series victory, 4-1 over the Dallas Mavericks. Coming up against the defending champion, San Antonio Spurs, the Hornets pushed them to seven games but were unable to overcome their experience, losing 4-3.

    The Hornets made the playoffs the following season, but were eliminated in the first round by the Denver Nuggets and carried the defeat over to the next season, losing six of their first nine games, resulting in Scott being fired. The team went on to miss the playoffs in 2010 and hired Monty Williams as head coach. 

    Shinn was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and wanted to move on from the NBA, so the league bought the team off him in 2010 to have full control of who the new owner would be. The team rallied behind Williams and qualified for the playoffs in 2011, but were eliminated in the first round by the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

    Paul, being a fierce competitor and always wanting to win, requested a trade from the franchise, preferring either New York or Los Angeles. A trade to the Lakers was agreed upon, but ownership, the NBA, vetoed the trade, as they wanted to ensure the success of the Hornets. 

    A trade with the Los Angeles Clippers was eventually made, with the Hornets receiving Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and a first round pick in return for Paul. The loss of Paul saw the team fall to the bottom of the Western Conference standings with a 21-45 record. 

    This poor record saw the Hornets awarded the first pick in the 2012 Draft, selecting Kentucky big man Anthony Davis and the team also traded for 2012 Most Improved Player and league leading three point shooter, Ryan Anderson. 

    New Orleans Saints’ owner Tom Benson bought the franchise from the NBA in the 2012 offseason. Benson wanted the team to better reflect Louisiana and New Orleans and in 2013 changed the name to the Pelicans, Louisiana’s state bird. 

    The last season under the Hornets name, 2012-13, saw the team only slightly improved to 27-55. The Pelicans selected Nerlens Noel with the 6th pick, but traded him and 2014’s first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for All Star guard Jrue Holiday. 

    Holiday’s second season with the team saw him and Davis begin to gel, making the playoffs for the first time in four years, but were swept by the eventual champions, the Golden State Warriors. Despite making the playoffs, the team fired Monty Williams and hired Alvin Gentry as head coach. 

    The Pelicans were unable to make the playoffs in 2015-16 and selected Buddy Hield with the sixth pick in the 2016 draft. The team wasn’t living up to expectations during the 2016-17 season, traded for disgruntled Sacramento Kings center, Demarcus Cousins, sending Hield and a selection of other players and picks. 

    Cousins joining Holiday and Davis made a force to be reckoned with, as Davis and Cousins were both named to the 2017 All Star game, however Cousins was unable to play due to injury. 

    Davis went on to be named All Star Game MVP, and helped the team make the playoffs where they swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round before falling to the Warriors again, this time in the second round. 

    Cousins left the team for the Warriors in a heavily criticised move and injury to Davis saw the Pelicans fall to 13th in the West. After the season, Davis requested a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was eventually traded to the Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first round picks. 

    The New Orleans Pelicans won the 2019 lottery, being given the first pick in the 2019 draft, along with the Lakers’ fourth pick, which they then sent to Atlanta for the eighth, 17th and 35th picks. The Pelicans selected Zion Williamson with the first pick, along with Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker with the eighth and 17th picks. 

    Zion would unfortunately miss the first portion of the season due to surgery on his knee, allowing Brandon Ingram to emerge as a star in the league, becoming an All Star for the first time and winning Most Improved Player. Zion would return in January and make immediate impact, helping push the team towards a potential playoff berth before COVID-19 suspended the season. 

    Despite only being 3.5 games behind Memphis, who was eighth in the West, New Orleans went 2-6 in their eight seeding games and were eliminated from playoff contention, finishing 13th in the West. After the Pelicans were eliminated, Alvin Gentry was fired as head coach, with Stan Van Gundy named to replace him. 

    Things didn’t get any better for the Pelicans under Van Gundy, with reports of a disconnect between the playing group and his coaching style. With plenty of expectation surrounding the team, due to the high profile play and names of Ingram, Williamson and Ball, it was a disappointment that New Orleans didn’t even qualify for the Play-In Tournament, finishing 11th in the West.

    Van Gundy lasted just one season in New Orleans, getting fired following the season with the team likely to hire Willie Green, current Phoenix assistant, as their new head coach.

    Expert 2021-22 Picks & Preview on New Orleans Pelicans

    The Pelicans have an interesting season ahead as they let go several key pieces and made big coaching changes. This somewhat new look team will try to get into the playoffs this season after missing out last season due to a bunch of injuries. The team has a long way to go and contains a peculiar mix of players. Although the roster definitely looks like it can make the playoffs, will this unit be able to build the necessary chemistry to make a proper playoff run or will they once again get boxed out of the playoffs in the tough Western Conference?

    Front Office

    The Pelicans have changed their coaching staff once again and now have their 3rd head coach in 3 years. After going 31-41 last season and missing the play-in tournament, the Pelicans decided that moving on from Stan Van Gundy after 1 season was the right move. To replace him they signed Willie Green to be their new head coach. Green is a former player who had a 12 year career in the NBA. 

    After his playing career, Green became an assistant coach with the Warriors in 2016. Green won 2 NBA Championships with the Warriors in 2017 and 2018. After his stint with the Warriors, Green moved to Phoenix where he helped lead the team to an NBA Finals appearance last season. Green is a great communicator and has a great basketball IQ.

    In order to help Green set up this young team for success, the Pelicans front office shook up the entire roster. This included moving on from impactful starters Lonzo Ball and Steven Adams. The Pelicans brought in Jonas Valanciunas to replace Adams as the starting centre. Valanciunas is definitely an upgrade on Adams as he is a strong rebounder and a floor space which is perfect alongside Zion and Brandon Ingram. 

    Valanciunas averaged 17 points per game and 12 rebounds per game, while shooting nearly 40% from 3 last season. They also added Devonte Graham to replace Lonzo in the backcourt. Graham is a good shooter and is a capable playmaker. He is not an upgrade on Lonzo, he also provided strong defense on a starting 5 that now seems to lack defense. The Pelicans have slightly improved and it should be enough to be in the race for the play-in tournament. 

    Key Players

    The most important player on the Pelicans is obviously Zion. Zion played at an All-Star level in his second year averaging 27 points and 7.2 rebounds. Zion has been growing rapidly and even got reps at point guard. Despite his polished inside game, the athletic monster still has room to grow. Zion has said that he is working on improving his floater and midrange this offseason to increase his offensive skill set. 

    This is a daunting thought for opposing coaches as Zion is borderline unstoppable already. Zion is on the edge of super stardom. If he can maintain his insane efficiency while increasing his usage rate, he would be a bona fide superstar. Zion had the 4th best Player Efficiency Rating last season, behind only former MVP Giannis, MVP Jokic and All-Pro Joel Embiid. Zion is knocking on the doorstep of super stardom and seems to have expanded his offensive game to help his team go to the next level.

    The second most important player for the Pelicans is Brandon Ingram. Ingram is a lethal scorer who averaged over 24 points a game as the Pelicans’ number 2 option. Ingram will also be looking to improve his production as he is currently 84th in the league in terms of his Player Efficiency Rating which may be a result of his tendency to take bad mid range shots. 

    Ingram did shoot well from deep, shooting at 38.1%, but his interior and midrange game must get better. The main weakness for Ingram is his defense. If the Pelicans want to make a proper run, they need Ingram to be at least an average defender.

    Breakout Players

    The breakout player on this Pelicans roster looks like it’ll be Nickeil Alexander-Walker. With Valanciunas, Zion and Ingram being the focus of most team’s defensive gameplans against the Pelicans, Alexander-Walker could be the perimeter threat that catches teams off guard. 

    In his 13 starts last season Alexander-Walker averaged 19 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists while shooting 41.2% from 3. His defense is an asset too as he can defend multiple positions. If the Pelicans want to succeed this year, they’ll need Alexander-Walker on the court both as an outlet offensively but also defensively due to his versatility.

    New Orleans Pelicans Betting & Odds Preview 2021-22

    With Zion Williamson having another NBA offseason and preseason to get in better shape, along with the natural improvement of Ingram, Ball and Hart, the Pelicans have hope to push towards the playoffs this upcoming season. Their 2020-21 NBA Championship odds opened at +4000, but drifted to +5000 just before the draft in mid-November.

    In what can be best described as mediocrity, the Pelicans didn’t even qualify for the Play-In Tournament, let alone the Playoffs, disappointing their futures bettors. Given the strength and experience of the top 6-10 teams in the league and the youth that New Orleans have, it is hard to see them being legitimate contenders for the coming years.

    The Pelicans ended the regular season with 33-38-1 record against the spread, ninth worst in the league. While being unprofitable against the spread, New Orleans had a great record in total points betting, finishing 41-30-1, third best in the league.

    New Orleans Pelicans FAQs

    Still got some burning questions about the New Orleans Pelicans? Well, we have answered some of the most common questions people have, hopefully you will find the answer you are looking for below! 

    Where do the New Orleans Pelicans play?

    The New Orleans Pelicans play their home games at the Smoothie King Center. 

    Who owns the New Orleans Pelicans?

    Gayle Benson is the owner of the New Orleans Pelicans. She became owner after her husband and owner of the team, Tom Benson, passed away in 2018. 

    Have the New Orleans Pelicans won an NBA Championship?

    The New Orleans Pelicans have not won a NBA Championship.

    Who is the New Orleans Pelicans coach?

    While the New Orleans Pelicans have not hired a new Head Coach, after firing Stan Van Gundy after just one season, they are expected to sign Phoenix assistant, Willie Green.  

    Do the New Orleans Pelicans play tonight?

    Are you wondering if the New Orleans Pelicans are playing tonight? Well, SportsTips has all the details you need about upcoming New Orleans Pelicans games! Make sure you check this page at the top for all the details you are looking for.

    Why did New Orleans change from the Hornets to the Pelicans?

    The original Hornets name came when the Charlotte Hornets relocated to New Orleans. After new ownership purchased the franchise in 2012, they wanted the name to better represent the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans. 

    Given the franchise was originally from New Orleans and how big jazz music was in the city, the new ownership requested the Utah Jazz change their name, but Utah denied their request, resulting in the Pelicans being chosen, as Louisiana’s state bird is the brown pelican. 

    What is the New Orleans Pelicans record?

    The New Orleans Pelicans had a 31-41 win-loss record for the 2020-21 NBA season. 

    Did the New Orleans Pelicans win last night?

    Fans of the New Orleans Pelicans are all wanting to know if they won the game last night. You can find more information in relation to the team’s recent form in games on the page at the top.

    How much are the New Orleans Pelicans worth?

    According to Forbes Magazine, the New Orleans Pelicans are worth $1.35 billion. 

    Who do the New Orleans Pelicans play tonight?

    Like a lot of things in the NBA, things change pretty quickly. So, if you are looking for more information about who the New Orleans Pelicans play tonight, you have come to the right place. We have all this information for you in detail, you can find these details for upcoming games at the top of the page.

    How to watch the New Orleans Pelicans?

    You can watch the New Orleans Pelicans on TV channels like ESPN, ABC, TNT, NBA TV or Fox Sports New Orleans, or subscribe to NBA League Pass. 

    Will the New Orleans Pelicans make the playoffs this year?

    The New Orleans Pelicans did not make the playoffs in the 2020-21 season after finishing 11th in the West with a 31-41 record. 

    Will the New Orleans Pelicans get the 1st pick in the NBA Draft?

    The New Orleans Pelicans received the 10th pick in the 2021 NBA draft. 

    When do the New Orleans Pelicans play?

    New Orleans Pelicans fans are always looking for more information about when their team plays the next game. For all the information you have been craving and more, be sure to check the top of this page. Here at SportsTips, we list all the information you need like the tip off time, location of the game and the all important NBA odds.

    Where did the New Orleans Pelicans finish the season?

    The New Orleans Pelicans finished the 2020-21 NBA season in 11th in the Western Conference. 

    How many games did the New Orleans Pelicans win?

    The New Orleans Pelicans won 31 games during the 2020-21 NBA season.