With the NBA summer league now in the rearview, the work continues for the New Orleans Pelicans. After going 5-1 in Las Vegas, the coaching staff will shift its focus to training camp. New coach Alvin Gentry was present in Vegas to watch his assistants implement the up-tempo offense the Pelicans will use during the season.
Throughout the week, as the victories stacked up, players on the summer league roster continued to praise the system and say how enjoyable it was to play with such freedom. Seth Curry, the leading scorer in Vegas, averaged 24.3 points on 46 percent shooting.
“I like playing an up-and-down pace,” Curry said. “(A) spread-out type offense where guards can be able to make plays.”
Rumblings that the team would sign Curry to a contract kept popping up throughout summer league, but the Sacramento Kings announced Wednesday they signed the youngest Curry to a two-year, $2 million contract.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen moving forward,” Curry said before he signed with the Kings. “But it was fun being with the Pelicans for summer league. The system was good for me personally. I was able to show what I can do as a player, show my talents, where I’ve gotten better.”
Curry’s performance over his 10 days with the Pelicans left summer league coach Robert Pack impressed.
“Seth did a great job for himself,” Pack said. “He played well here for this group.
“(He’s) a guy that’s been the brink and has continued to pursue his dreams,” Pack continued. “You saw it all week, the fight he had. I’m excited for the opportunity that’s ahead of him.”
Pack used summer league as a learning experience that will help him in his quest to one day become a head coach in the NBA. In addition to Vegas providing opportunities for players and coaches to show improvements, the games also gave the Pelicans players a glimpse into the way they will be playing this season.
“It’s good because I know these guys saw some of the games,” Pack said. “We had some of our players here, and guys have talked about how excited they are to play in the system.
“If they’re looking at the games and seeing the system, I’m sure they can put themselves in some of those spots,” Pack continued. “(They’ll) understand if they commit to the running and the spacing, the things coach Gentry wants to put in, I think those guys could easily see where they could fit themselves in and how they could benefit from the system.”
Pelicans shooting guard Eric Gordon was on hand to watch the Pelicans take on the Phoenix Suns in the semifinals. Although the team fell to the Suns behind a 31-point explosion from rookie Devin Booker, Gordon spoke with NBA TV about the offense the team was running.
“I think it fits our team’s style of play, and we’re going to love it,” Gordon said. “It’s all about playing (off of) each other, hitting an open man at all times. It should be a fun game.”