The New Orleans Pelicans have made two major re-signings in a matter of two days. After sealing up Anthony Davis with a mega contract, Omer Asik is next, meaning the team is going forward with something of a twin towers approach.
Asik, days before his 29th birthday, signed a five-year, $60 million deal, which gives the Pelicans the player they need to keep Anthony Davis from being constantly a rim protector and also give Alvin Gentry, the team’s new head coach, an option of playing big lineups, although we saw that the Warriors offense had a big hand in designing went with a lot of small ball, especially in the playoffs.
Asik averaged 7.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season. He takes 89.6% of his shots from within 3 feet of the basket, offering no range or spacing, which in today’s NBA is a problem, but the Pelicans did well and made the playoffs with him, so they’re carrying on with what worked for them this season.
Davis, obviously, is at the center of this, signing a five-year, $145 million extension that kick in at the beginning of the 2016-2017 season. A big man who isn’t confined to a single position, Davis seems like someone who’ll be part of the league’s elite group of players for many years to come. Giving him less pressure to anchor the team’s defense without any help in the paint is crucial to keeping his offensive production on the rise, scoring 24.4 points per game last season, and looking to best that in 2015-2016.
Using twin towers used to be something of a trend in the past, but the league has changed drastically since then. The Pelicans had problems with combining Davis and Asik on the floor together, especially on defense. The Turkish center played just 19.8 minutes a night in the first round sweep loss against the Warriors. It’ll be up to Gentry to find a way and make good use of the $12 million per season the Pelicans just attached as a price tag to their center.