C Omer Asik
7-foot, 255 pounds
Asik had been talked about as a possible trade candidate ever since the Houston Rockets landed Dwight Howard. That deal got done over the summer, when Houston got a future first-round pick from the Pelicans (and some salary cap space relief as well). Asik, who averaged 5.8 ppg and 7.9 rpg, gives the Pels a defensive presence — a banger — in the middle, freeing up Anthony Davis and New Orleans’ perimeter scorers.
PG Russ Smith
6-0, 165 pounds
Smith, who led Louisville to the 2013 NCAA championship, is very quick and has shown he can score on drives and has a penchant for hitting big shots. Very good defensive player who can pressure other guards from baseline to baseline. Smith impressed the Pelicans during the Las Vegas Summer League with his overall play, including his ability to score. A second-round pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, Smith was obtained in a draft-day trade for 2013 second-round pick and Development League standout Pierre Jackson. Smith has a guaranteed contract going into training camp, which is not usually the case with second-round picks.
G Jimmer Fredette
6-2, 195 pounds
Fredette has played three NBA seasons after winning several player of the year awards as a senior at BYU and getting picked 10th overall in the 2011 draft. Known for his excellent range, Fredette is hoping to fill the void created by the departure of Anthony Morrow. He has made 40.1 percent on 3-pointers in his career. He likely needs a good training camp and preseason.
SF John Salmons
6-7, 210 pounds
Entering his 13th season, the 34-year-old Salmons is expected to provide a sure, veteran play at a vulnerable position. New Orleans has needed a solid NBA-caliber small forward for at least the past three seasons. Salmons’ role has diminished as he has aged. He played last season with the Toronto Raptors, his fifth team. His most productive seasons were from 2008-11, when he averaged between 12.5 points and 19.9.
PF Patric Young
6-9, 240 pounds
Young helped Florida to three SEC championships and a Final Four appearance last season. Did well on the Pelicans’ Summer League team. Big, strong, athletic, physical player who will give the team a more imposing frontcourt. The coaches love him. Team has been looking for player like him, who can defend, rebound and run the court, for two seasons.
G Dionte Christmas
6-5, 205 pounds
Undrafted out of Temple in 2009, Christmas played in Israel, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Greece, Russia and Italy before parlaying a Summer League appearance with the Phoenix Suns into a roster spot, averaging 2.3 ppg in 31 games last season.
PF Kevin Jones
6-8, 260 pounds
Jones, undrafted out of West Virginia in 2012, played 32 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers. An NBA Development League All-Star last season, when he averaged 16.9 ppg and 8.0 rpg with the Canton Charge.
PF Vernon Macklin
6-10, 227 pounds
Macklin was a 2011 second-round pick (52nd overall) out of Florida by the Detroit Pistons, with whom he played 23 games. Most recently, he averaged 12.9 ppg and 5.7 rpg with Liaoning of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Where are they now?
PG Brian Roberts: Signed two-year, $5.5-million contract with the Charlotte Hornets to back up Kemba Walker.
C Jason Smith: Signed one-year contract, for $3.27-million taxpayer midlevel exception, with the New York Knicks.
G Anthony Morrow: Signed three-year, $10-million contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
F Al-Farouq Aminu: Signed two-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks.
C Greg Stiemsma: Signed one-year, $1-million contract with the Toronto Raptors.