Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday talking to Wizards guard Bradley Beal on the court.
Still just 29 years old, Jrue Holiday (left) will be the elder statesman on a supremely young New Orleans team this season. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • BetOnline puts the Pelicans at +250 odds to make the 2020 NBA playoffs
  • New Orleans selected Duke sensation Zion Williamson with the first-overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft
  • The Pelicans missed the playoffs last season with a 33-49 record

Management of the New Orleans Pelicans have painstakingly downplayed the notion that Zion Williamson will be the savior of their franchise.

During a summer of change in the Big Easy, Williamson is in, as are a bevy of young stars and future draft picks, while Anthony Davis is out.

Even amidst the upheaval, BetOnline still think the Pelicans will be on the playoff bubble next season. The sportsbook has put the Pelicans chances are participating in the 2019-20 postseason at +250 in their NBA playoff odds.

Golden State Warriors Win Total Odds

Team Odds to Make Playoffs at BetOnline Odds to Miss Playoffs at
BetOnline
Dallas Mavericks +150 -170
Denver Nuggets -500 +400
Golden State Warriors -350 +290
Houston Rockets -550 +425
Los Angeles Clippers -1500 +1000
Los Angeles Lakers -5000 +400
Memphis Grizzlies +800 -1250
Minnesota Timberwolves +315 -374
New Orleans Pelicans +350 -200
Oklahoma City Thunder n/a /na
Phoenix Suns +1000 -1500
Portland Trail Blazers -200 +170
Sacramento Kings +315 -375
San Antonio Spurs -200 +170
Utah Jazz -800 +600

*All odds taken 07/16/19.

The Pelicans’ +250 odds have an implied probability of 28.6 percent and are 10th overall among Western Conference teams.

Last season, New Orleans finished fourth in the Southwest Division and 13th overall in the West with a 33-49 record.

Brave New Orleans World

There are currently 13 players on the Pelicans’ roster who are under the age of 25. Two of them – power forward Williamson and center Jaxson Hayes – are teenagers who were selected in the top eight picks of the 2019 NBA Draft.

Point guard Lonzo Ball, 21, shooting guard Josh Hart, 24, and small forward Brandon Ingram, 21, arrived from the Los Angeles Lakers in the Davis deal.

Of players who started at least half of the team’s games last season, only point guard Jrue Holiday, 29, remains. As Big Jim McBob and Billy Sol Hurok used to say on SCTV, they blowed it up real good.

Where Do Pelicans Fit In Wild West?

Several Western Conference teams grew significantly better since the end of last season. The Lakers got Davis. The Los Angeles Clippers added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Houston acquired Russell Westbrook and Utah grabbed Mike Conley Jr.

Only Golden State and Oklahoma City got weaker. But like Denver, Portland and San Antonio, the Warriors should be a playoff team. That’s eight spots spoken for right there.

Can the Pelicans bump one of this bunch out? Don’t bet on it happening next season.

Coming Attractions

They’re young, they’re fast and their go-go style of offense under coach Alvin Gentry will sure be funch to watch. Soon, they’ll also be tough to beat.

New Orleans mistakenly rushed the rebuild after taking Davis first overall in 2012, surrounding him with overpaid, mediocre veterans. The Pelicans are doing it the right way this time – with patience, allowing a young squad to grow together.

It won’t happen next season but before long, they’ll be a playoff team. And not long after that, a serious contender.

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