The Pelicans waived three players on Saturday to get under the NBA’s regular-season roster limit, but they might not be finished making moves.
New Orleans cut forward Jeff Adrien and guards Bryce Dejean-Jones and Bo McCalebb, a New Orleans native and former UNO star, trimming their roster to 14 players. NBA teams can carry 15 on a regular-season roster.
That doesn’t mean the Pels will add another player, but coach Alvin Gentry didn’t rule out the possibility, saying he and general manager Dell Demps will explore their options in the coming days.
That could mean scanning the waiver wires for guards cut loose by other NBA teams.
“We’re definitely going to look and see what the situation is, because we may have to add another guard,” Gentry said. “That’s something that we’ll look seriously at and see. We’re going to do whatever is best for the team and whatever we need to do. The great thing about it is that Dell and I have been on the same page since Day 1. So we’ll talk about it, and we’ll see how that works out.”
Teams have until Monday to set opening-night rosters.
On the mend
Injuries have left the Pelicans short-handed for most of the preseason, but players could start to trickle back into the rotation as early as Tuesday’s season opener at Golden State
There’s “a possibility,” Gentry said, that center Alexis Ajinca and forward Luke Babbitt, both sidelined with hamstring strains, “might be able to play a few minutes.”
“We won’t know that until the next few days,” Gentry said. “(We’ll) see exactly how they feel and see if there’s any pain or any reaction to practicing a little bit harder.”
Though the defending NBA champion Warriors loom — the Pelicans play them Tuesday in Oakland and Saturday in New Orleans — Gentry said his team isn’t fully focused on Golden State yet.
The Pelicans, who fly out Sunday for Tuesday’s game, still are taking a long look at themselves.
“We’ll do a little bit of both,” Gentry said. “We’ll try to clean up some of the things that we’re doing. We still are a little behind in some of the things that we’d like to have. But we’re also concentrating on Golden State. Obviously our transition defense has to improve in the next day or so, because you play that team right there – in the preseason, I think they got 40 possessions a game in transition. So that means they’re really pushing the basketball.”