The good news? Our panel projects a big improvement for the Pelicans next season. Bad news? That might not be enough to make the playoffs.
2018 ScheduleAll times ET
Two nights after the Pelicans open in Memphis, DeMarcus Cousins will enjoy his first NOLA home opener vs. the Warriors on Friday, Oct. 20.
On paper, New Orleans has one of the NBA's most intriguing lineups. But if this team doesn't get off to a good start, things could head south quickly.
By making the chest lettering larger, the Pelicans addressed their biggest uniform issue. However, they haven't released their new shorts yet, so it's too early to make a full assessment.
Tune in for Opening Week
The NBA's more player-friendly 2017-18 schedule will begin in mid-October. Tune in to catch some of the best opening week matchups on ESPN/WatchESPN.
Raajik Shah ESPN
DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins in the house to watch Floyd Mayweather train in Vegas. Watch Cousins' reaction about 15 seconds in and at the end of the video Mayweather delivers a simple message.
Bobby Marks ESPN
New Orleans amended the contract of Jordan Crawford to guarantee his contract $250K for the season. The $1.7M contract for Crawford was set to become fully guaranteed last week but both sides amended his contract with the revised protection. The protection will increase to $750K if the contract is not waived by 11/10. The Pelicans are walking a tightrope when it comes to the hard cap. New Orleans is currently $1,473,576 below the hard cap with one roster spot available. A minimum roster spot would cost the Pelicans $1,471,382.
Rondo is a big question mark: will he play like "Vintage Rondo" or struggle to gel with Jrue Holiday and the Pelicans' front court.
Pelicans announce preseason schedule
The Pelicans will kick off the 2017-18 preseason hosting the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 3 at the Smoothie King Center, before going on the road for three games against the Thunder (Oct. 6), Bulls (Oct. 8) and Grizzlies (Oct. 13).
Ian Clark seemed like the classic candidate for a role player who gets overpaid for his performance on a championship team, so kudos to the Pelicans for waiting him out at the veterans minimum.
Forward Anthony Davis is confident the New Orleans Pelicans can compete with any team in the NBA this coming season.
Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer
Add Pelicans star DeMarcus Cousins to the list of NBA players who'd like Carmelo Anthony traded to their team. Cousins liked and commented on this Instagram post:
RPM has New Orleans getting clipped by Utah for the final playoff spot in the West, and that projection actually might be optimistic for the Pelicans.
Pelicans forward has lost weight, thinks his team will be much improved, plus there's that trip to Sacramento
With no big offer coming his way, Golden State free-agent guard Ian Clark has reportedly agreed to a one-year, minimum contract with New Orleans.
Handing Jrue Holiday a huge contract limited the Pelicans' flexibility, and he might not fit particularly well with Rajon Rondo.
Pelicans sign Cooke to two-way deal
Pelicans have agreed to a two-way contract with Dayton guard Charles Cooke who went undrafted in the 2017 NBA draft.
Cousins will probably get max offers anyway, but it sure would help if he shines in his first full season out of Sacramento.
Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer
Saints and Pelicans owners Tom and Gayle Benson inside the newly-named Ochsner Sports Performance Center as they announce that the teams have sold naming rights to their practice facilities to Ochsner Health System.
Anthony Davis believes the Pelicans "have the tools right now" to be a winning organization and expressed optimism that the team can "make some noise" in a loaded Western Conference this season.
Bobby Marks ESPN
New Orleans now with $116.9M in contracts, $2.4M below the luxury tax after the Quinn Cook and Axel Toupane waiver. The Pelicans have 12 guaranteed and 1 (Jordan Crawford) non-guaranteed contract. The contract of Toupane would have increased from $25K to $200K and Cook from $25K to $100K if they were not released today.