New Orleans Pelicans: Which way are they heading?

The New Orleans Pelicans may be doomed for the rest of the NBA season. Coming off a 102-95 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 3, the Pelicans are in a dilemma.

If the Pelicans make the playoffs, they will end up playing either Oklahoma City or San Antonio. Now, I really like the New Orleans Pelicans, but I don’t think they have enough ammo to take down a 1 seed in the playoffs.  Anthony Davis has carried the team throughout the season, but how strong is his back?

When Jrue Holiday was traded to the Pelicans, the 76ers received in return recieved Nerlens Noel and a top 5 protected first-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

The Pelicans are 20-27 on the year and are in 12th place in the Western Conference. Currently the Pelicans are 8 games out of the playoffs with 35 games left in the season.

That top 5 protected pick is in the back of Dell Demps mind every night. The only way the Pelicans keep that pick in the upcoming draft is if that pick ends up being a top 5 pick.

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Now the dilemma the Pelicans have is, if they miss the playoffs and don’t get that top 5 pick than they will not have a first round pick in the strong upcoming draft. That is the worst option for the Pelicans. The two best options the Pelicans have are make the playoffs or pull the chord on this season and claim that top 5 draft pick.

The problem with the Pelicans tanking on the season is that it’s hard to see a team invest so much money on key players and than just give up. The Pelicans spent a lot of cash on Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon just to name a few.

Jrue Holiday has missed the last 12 games and the team is not sure when he will be ready to play. The Pelicans are now kicking themselves in the foot, because they gave up Noel and a top pick for one guy who hasn’t contributed to the team like they thought he would. Evans hasn’t been playing his best basketball this year and Gordon has not been the impact player we all thought he was.

The Pelicans definitely aren’t one of the luckier teams this season. Injuries have been the main headline for this team and it hasn’t been injuries to role players. These injuries have happened to star players that were supposed to help the Pelicans get to the playoffs this season.

Anthony Davis continues his dominate performances this season. In his last time out Davis recorded 17 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocked shots against the Spurs.

Davis will be a restricted free agent in the year 2016, but if the Pelicans can get better young talent around him he may be playing in the New Orleans Arena his whole career.

The fortunate side is that the Pelicans still have time to make a few moves before the trade deadline, which is Thursday, February 20. Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon are trade pieces the Pelicans should look to move. The downside to both players is that they have had some injuries in the past.

The Pelicans need to bring in more young talent, because at the end of the day they are probably going to have to hand that draft pick over to Philadelphia.

This years draft class has a lot of depth and great talent, if the Pelicans can bring in some draft picks that would be a huge boost going forward for this franchise.