Why it might be time for Pelicans to move on from Omer Asik
With their new head coach one win away from turning his full attention to the future task at hand, the New Orleans Pelicans are ready to embark on a new era in franchise history with Alvin Gentry at the helm.
And the only certainty moving forward is that Anthony Davis is the centerpiece of everything in New Orleans. No one else's return is guaranteed; the Pelicans' responsibility from this point on (and, really, going back to the day they drafted The Brow) is to put the best possible team around Davis with the best possible chance to win a title.
Unfortunately, that probably means cutting ties with some players from this past season in New Orleans. And first on the chopping block could be Omer Asik, who underwhelmed as a Pelican. He wasn't bad, of course, but his defensive ability never manifested into greater defensive efficiency for New Orleans; while he was fine as a rebounder and occasional scorer, at least relative to seasons past, he seemed to have a nasty penchant for his hands turning to stone at the worst possible moment.
And as Jimmy Smith of NOLA.com writes, in the Alvin Gentry era, "the Pelicans will need a reliable center who can dominate under the rim and contribute on both ends of the floor, someone who'll run the court – far too many times this season Asik either didn't make it to the offensive end or the play was concluded and the ball headed in the other direction by the time he made it across midcourt."
Add the fact that Asik is coming off of a deal that paid him just over $8 million last season and that he's unlikely to take a pay cut (big guys get paid, after all) and it seems unlikely that Asik will be back in New Orleans next season.
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