Before the New Orleans Pelicans get started in the Las Vegas Summer League starting on July 10, they had to take care of some very important business first, like signing franchise cornerstone Anthony Davis to the richest contract in NBA history — a five-year extension worth an estimated $145 million. Davis will be 28-years-young when the contract is over after the 2016-17 season so it was imperative to lock him up as long as possible. Fans buying New Orleans Pelicans tickets will get “The Brow” for at least six more seasons as a result.
Other offseason moves include resigning Omer Asik to a five-year, $60 million deal, Alexis Ajinca to a four-year $20.2 million deal, and Dante Cunningham to a three-year, $9 million deal.
The Pelicans certainly have enough frontcourt depth with those aforementioned names combined with Quincy Pondexter, Ryan Anderson and second-round pick Branden Dawson, who will be featured prominently during the Las Vegas Summer League. The summer league will mainly be an evaluation of their backcourt and its depth. New Orleans currently has Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Toney Douglas as the only four guards under contract.
So which players can make the most of their opportunity? The Pelicans’ summer league roster includes Seth Curry, a 2013 undrafted free agent and brother of 2015 NBA MVP Stephen Curry; Bryce Dejean-Jones and Jay Hook, 2015 undrafted free agents from Iowa State and Tulane, respectively; Larry Drew, an undrafted free agent from the 2013 class; and Lazeric Jones, an undrafted free agent from the 2012 draft class.
New Orleans fans can get to Sin City through Hipmunk.com, which has affordable Las Vegas flights to watch summer league basketball. Fans looking to get an extended look at the team before the season starts can reserve Las Vegas hotels starting from $20 on Hipmunk as well.
The Las Vegas Summer League runs through July 20 and has the Pelicans playing against the Milwaukee Bucks to open things up on July 10, the Dallas Mavericks on July 11, and the Brooklyn Nets on July 13. The first two contests will be held at COX Pavilion at 6:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 pm ET, respectively, while the game against the Nets will be at 4:30 p.m. ET.
New Orleans snapped a three-season playoff drought last season by earning the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They were swept, 4-0, in the first round by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors.