The New Orleans Pelicans made a big splash this week, trading for center DeMarcus Cousins, but the deal left the Pelicans backcourt thin.
New Orleans currently has 14 players on its roster though only 13 of those players are available to play. Wing Quincy Pondexter has not played since the 2014-15 season and is out indefinitely after undergoing another surgery on his left knee per ESPN. Leaving Jrue Holiday, E’Twan Moore and Tim Frazier as the only healthy guards.
To make matters worse, the Pelicans could be without three other players when they begin the second half of the season versus the Houston Rockets on Thursday.
Omri Casspi, who was part of the Cousins deal, has been on the self since Jan. 15 with a calf injury. He is out indefinitely. Small forward Dante Cunningham (personal) missed the two games before the All-Star break, and Terrence Jones (thumb) has missed four consecutive games.
Marc Stein of ESPN reported that Pelicans scheduled several workouts for this week, looking to solidify their backcourt depth. Stein tweeted that Mario Chalmers, Hollis Thompson, Quinn Cook and Reggie Williams were among the guards slated to workout for the team.
Scott Kushner of the Advocate clarified Stein’s tweet, saying the workout was expected to take place on Tuesday.
Chalmers and Cook are scoring point guards. Chalmers has not played since being waived by the Memphis Grizzlies last March after suffering an Achilles injury. The six-foot-one point guard was having a tremendous season before getting injured. He is an above point guard who has struggled with his shot. Chalmers possesses career-averages of 9.0 points and 3.8 assists while shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 35.8 percent on three-point attempts.
Cook was named the 2017 D-League All-Star MVP on Saturday in New Orleans. The six-foot-two second-year guard is averaging 26.2 points and 6.8 assists in 34 games for the D-League’s Canton Charge. He is shooting 47.5 percent from the floor and 36.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Cook went undrafted out of Duke in 2015. The 23-year-old was cut in training camp by the Pelicans this year after appearing in three games for the team. He was in training camp with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015-16. Cook has never appeared in an NBA regular season game.
D-League stats project Cook would average 12.8 points and 5.01 assists over 36 minutes in the NBA. It also projects him to shoot 40.8 percent from the floor and 31.8 percent on three-point attempts.
Thompson is known as a shooter. The 25-year-old started the season with the Philadelphia 76ers but was waived to permit the team some flexibility. He averaged 5.5 points and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 41.5 percent from the field in 31 games with the Sixers this season.
Thompson is currently a member of the Austin Spurs, producing 17.0 points and shooting 50.0 percent from the floor and 48.4 percent from beyond the arc in eight games. He has scored in double-figures in seven of eight games, including three games of 20 or more points.
Williams is a veteran six-foot-six wing who appeared in five games for the Pelicans earlier this year. The 30-year-old is a good defender and a decent rebounder who likes to launch shots from beyond the arc. He averages 7.8 points and 2.4 boards in 205 career NBA games.
Williams is currently playing for the D-League’s Oklahoma City Blue. He has appeared in 27 games for the Blue this season, compiling 18.6 points along with 5.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists. Williams is shooting 46.4 percent from the field and has made 2.4 triples a game.
Holiday, Moore and Frazier are all point guards by trade. However, Holiday and Moore are capable of playing shooting guard. Holiday is shooting the ball the best of his career and thus is having his most efficient season as well. The six-foot-four guard is averaging 16.3 points and 7.5 assists while shooting 46.8 percent from the floor and 39.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Moore is very versatile with the ability to play four positions. He is averaging a career-high 9.6 points and a personal-best 1.1 three-pointers. His other numbers are close to his career-best as well. Moore is also a quality defender.
Frazier is a true point guard in the sense that he looks to distribute before looking to score himself. He is a quality ball-handler though he struggles shooting and on the defensive end.
[Featured Image by Tony Dejak/AP Images]