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The Pelicans Are Shuffling The Saddest Deck In The Universe

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty

You would not think a person could muster up much of a feeling about Jordan Crawford being cut by an NBA basketball team in 2017, and yet, here we are.


Just to be clear, Crawford is not much of an NBA player. But then, the Pelicans aren’t much of an NBA team. They’ve gotten masterful individual play from Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins in their first two games, but they’re also 0-2, having lost to the Grizzlies and Warriors by a combined 24 points. Crawford, for his part, chipped in 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting last night, and hit all of his attempts from deep, and by virtue of the fact that he can shoot at little, and dribble a little, and stand upright, and is smaller than Anthony Davis, is the closest thing to a scoring threat the Pelicans have among their few and terrible wing options. Through two games, Crawford has outscored and out-assisted Jrue Holiday. The Pelicans are a mess.

Crawford’s roster spot was needed in order to bring in Jameer Nelson, whom the Pelicans reportedly signed today. Under no circumstances was the presence of Jordan Crawford going to make or break the Pelicans this season. In all likelihood, they’re just broken. Nelson is a slight upgrade—in a world that made any sense, the Pelicans would, you know, keep both, but they’re so tied up with useless bigs, and their salary cap situation is so dire, that they were gonna have to lose a perimeter player in the deal. Because they are the Pelicans, and general manager Dell Demps is stuck in win-now purgatory, they elected to keep Tony Allen, who exacerbates their already fatally cramped spacing, and cut loose Crawford, who is a useful and rare commodity on this team.

If this season turns (or stays) sour, the Pelicans will have a decision to make about Cousins, who becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer. They will also be looking down the line at the potential departure of Anthony Davis, who has been consistently linked with Danny Ainge’s long-term roster reconstruction in Boston. And here’s where they find themselves: in order to make room for Jameer friggin’ Nelson, they had to cast off one of their terrifyingly few productive guards. And that guard was Jordan friggin’ Crawford. Yeesh.

Jordan Crawford’s birthday, by the way, is Monday. Happy birthday, man.

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