The New Orleans Pelicans were a good shout to win the 2023 NBA Summer League, but the honors belong to the Sacramento Kings following what was a great season as they made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and came close to dethroning the then-reigning NBA Champions.
NOLA, though, will be an interesting team to watch in the upcoming season, especially given the latest Zion Williamson saga. But the bookmakers had them among the favorites for Summer League glory.
For now, the Pelicans will be focused on at least making it back to the Playoffs. The Pelicans are one of the best teams in the NBA once Williamson is playing so there’s no telling how far they could go if he’s able to play a large chunk of a campaign. They’re currently 25/1 to win the Western Conference, with bookmakers offering odds of 40/1 on their championship chances.
The Pelicans, known for their young and talented roster, have high hopes of clinching the championship. Louisiana sports betting enthusiasts are keeping a close eye on the Pelicans’ odds for winning the 2023 NBA Summer League title.
Of course, Summer League is hardly anything to go buy when it gets down to the business end of things later in the year. But it does provide coaches with an outlet to rate their younger players against NBA opposition.
Where the Pelicans are concerned, it will be interesting to see which of their Summer League breakouts earn a roster spot.
Pelicans Summer League Strategy:
The team’s roster for the season is more or less set once training camp begins every year, but they will have one standard spot and two open two-way contract spots. They will likely look to the Summer League roster to fill those spots and Landers Nolley II is being pointed to as a player who could get the nod in such regard.
Nolley had a very impressive Summer League outing for the Pels this year and fans will argue that he deserves a shot at competing for a spot during the upcoming training camp
The guard played his final college season at Cincinnati and was a standout. He averaged 16.8 points a game, as well as 5.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from three in his single year with the Bearcats.
New Orleans picked him for their Summer League roster and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands as he showed he can be effective at the professional level too.
The 23-year-old played five Summer League games from which he averaged 8.0 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists a game while shooting 55.6 percent from the field and an impressive 50 percent from three-point territory.
Nolley’s three-point shooting numbers improved every season he played in college. And, judging from his Summer League marksmanship, one could imagine how reliable of a shooter he could be.
Jose Alvarado is the only player on a standard contract with the Pels that is not guaranteed out of a4 players. Alvarado shouldn’t have to worry about losing his roster spot, making it unlikely that the team would use a standard spot on Nolley right now.
At best, he attends training camp and does well enough to prove to the coaching staff that he is deserving of a two-way contract. While that would limit him to just 50 games with the team as he would have to spend the rest of his first season with the Pels’ G-League outfit, the Birmingham Squadron, it would be a massive stepping stone.
NOLA only has Dereon Seabron on a two-way deal at the moment.
Given what Nolley’s shown as a catch-and-shoot long-distance shooter, he can earn some recognition in NBA circles right away. The fact that he could also create his own shot should attract even more attention.
The former Bearcat has shown he can be a solid defender who could possibly carve out a career as a 3&D player. At the very least, he’s done enough to earn himself an invite to the New Orleans training camp.