Meet the newest Pelicans

The Pelicans introduce Ball, Ingram, Hart and Favors

Amos Morale III
July 16, 2019 - 8:29 pm

Amos Morale III

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The New Orleans Pelicans held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to introduce four players the franchise acquired via trades made this offseason. 

Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin was flanked Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram, who were part of the deal to send All-Star forward Anthony Davis to the Lakers, as well as center Derrick Favors, who New Orleans traded for following the 2019 NBA Draft, and reiterated his excitement about this new look Pelicans team.

One particular aspect that excited both Griffin and the new players was what they might be able to do defensively.

“This group are very elite defensively,” he said. “We have a chance to be special good on that side of the ball.”

His sentiment was echoed by Ball who spent his first two NBA seasons as the Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard.

“I think we could be one of the defensive teams in the league,” Ball said.

Griffin said the Pelicans analytics staff has told him Pelicans games could be first 95 with the group.

“We’d like that to be the case,” he said. 

The optimism is boosted by the Pelicans acquisition of Derrick Favors who Griffin described as an elite rim protector. Favors average 1.4 blocks per game and 7.4 rebounds in roughly 23 minutes a night last season.

But both Griffin and Favors are excited about what the 27 year-old veteran could contribute on the offensive end.   

“Derrick was in a situation where he was probably best suited as a center and he was playing behind on of may the five best centers in the league(Rudy Gobert),” Griffin said. “(That) makes it hard to play the natural position you should play. 

“So he was asked to play, what we considered, out of position, a lot at the four, in a league that’s gotten progressively smaller. They were bigger than everyone else in the front court so I think what happened was a lot of Derrick’s game was left untouched, particularly offensively.”

Favors said conversations about how the Pelicans planned to use him were one of the reasons he’s excited to join the revamped squad.

The three former Lakers spoke similarly of their excitement about joining this New Orleans team. Hart in particular said the Pelicans potential this season prompted him to call Griffin before the draft and ask not to be included in any trades.

“(He) said ‘I know you can get a lot for me’ and we literally had received offers for everybody here from the Lakers at that time,” Griffin said. “He said ‘Whatever you do, don’t trade me. I really want to be in New Orleans.’ and it meant a lot to us.”

Griffin also expressed excitement about the Pelicans returning players and mentioned Jahlil Okafor as a player that enjoyed a strong offseason.

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