The New Orleans Pelicans have already signed coach Alvin Gentry and this means that there will be some changes on the team. It’s known that coach Gentry is an offensive maestro and he can draw up an action for almost anybody on the team, but can he make things happen without a small forward on his roster?
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Omer Asik is becoming a free agent this summer and although there’s a huge market for big men in the NBA, it seems like the Turkish center is slightly overpaid for his contributions on the court. The team couldn’t live without him over the last season because they were missing a player on the SF position.
That player could be Khris Middleton, if the Pelicans decide not to sign Asik for another stint with the team. Middleton is a forward that can play the SF position because of his good shot selection and consistency, yet is long enough to guard power forwards in the paint. Another thing that makes him even more interesting is that he can be used for the guard spot on the defensive end.
The Milwaukee Bucks can match any offer made for Middleton this season, but they also need to think about a near future where Jabari Parker, Michael Carter-Williams and Giannis Antetokounmpo will all have huge contracts in the range of $14-$18 millions.
The New Orleans Pelicans on the other hand find themselves in a better situation when the future of the team comes in question because they’ll have Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holliday all in free agency if needed before they sign Anthony Davis to a max contract extension in 2017.
If the Pelicans decide to sign Khris Middleton they will have the opportunity to:
- spread the floor with Ryan Anderson at PF,
- rotate on defense between Middleton and Anderson,
- give Anthony Davis more opportunities to work in the paint,
- finally find a fitting small forward,
- sign an athletic 23-year-old forward.
Playing in Milwaukee is great right now, for any young player that’s entering the league, but it’s also good to have a nice contract. Khris Middleton answers a lot of questions for the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Milwaukee Bucks have enough dept on their roster, especially on the forward position, to allow a talent like Middleton to leave in free agency, after all they should be focusing on getting a quality young center in the next couple of seasons. Sign and trade deal is also not out of the table, because the Bucks have enough cap space right now to perform maneuvers. The “price” that Middleton goes for this off-season could be in the range of $14 million, something that Asik was making till now and something that Chandler Parsons got last season from the Dallas Mavericks.
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