Western Conference early free agency moves put OKC Thunder on high alert

OKC Thunder Steven Adams, Russell Westbrook and Paul George. (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder Steven Adams, Russell Westbrook and Paul George. (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
JJ Redick #17 of the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans might have pulled off the fastest rebuild in NBA history

When Anthony Davis decided to sit out and quit on the Pelicans in hopes of being dealt at the deadline, things looked bleak for New Orleans. They were on the verge of losing a generational talent with nothing to show for it besides a first-round win or two. They also did not seem bad enough to capture the number one overall pick. They just looked stuck. Then, Dell Demps got dumped and the Pelicans decided to hire David Griffin.

After holding onto Davis to finish out the 2018-19 regular season, the Pelicans headed into an offseason of the unknown under new leadership.

That is when arguably one of the best offseasons in NBA history went down for New Orleans.

The Pelicans won the NBA Draft lottery and drafted Zion Williamson. They traded AD for a revamped roster that includes Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Jaxson Hayes. Pairing all those new faces with Jrue Holiday.

That in itself is a huge improvement, but the Pelicans were not done. That is when we enter day one of free agency.

The Pels were able to sign sharpshooter JJ Reddick away from the 76ers, and trade for Jazz forward Derrick Favors after Utah signed Ed Davis to crowd their frontcourt.

The Pelicans are not good enough to make the playoffs just yet. However, I could see them being the Kings of last season. The Kings threatened for a playoff birth all year long and were a tough out each night before they ultimately ended up just outside the playoff picture.

The OKC Thunder went 2-2 against the Pelicans a year ago. Now, the roster is much improved. The Pelicans could add even more losses to the Thunder’s record if they are not careful.