New Orleans Pelicans: nba FUTURES & BETTING ODDS
The New Orleans Hornets started play in 2002, technically as an expansion franchise, but actually using the players and staff from what was previously the Charlotte Hornets. Backed by an experienced roster led by Baron Davis and All-Star Jamal Mashburn, the team went 47-35 and made the playoffs where they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games.
The following year the team went 41-41 and lost to the Miami Heat in seven games. The team would fire inaugural coach Tim Floyd after the season, hiring Byron Scott.
For the 2004-05 season, the team moved to the Western conference after a new Charlotte franchise joined the league. The team struggled in a tougher conference, then traded both Davis and Mashburn, as they finished the season with an 18-64 record. They would select Chris Paul in the first round of the draft, which would change the New Orleans Pelicans odds permanently.
For both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 season, the franchise was forced to play their home games in Oklahoma City, due to the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. The team would play well under the difficult circumstances, with Chris Paul winning Rookie of the Year, and the team narrowly missing the playoffs in a stacked conference both times.
With Paul having emerged as a superstar, the team would have their best season as the New Orleans Hornets, going a franchise-record 56-26, with Byron Scott winning Coach of the Year. The Hornets would knock off the Mavericks in five games, but would fall in seven games to the Spurs.
The team would fail to win a postseason series for each of the next five seasons, during which the NBA would actually buy the team back from original owner George Shinn for $300 million. The team would attempt to trade Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers during this period, but commissioner David Stern would veto the trade controversially. Several months later the team would deal Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers.
In April of 2012, Tom Benson, the owner of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints bought the team from the NBA. Benson would change the team’s name to the New Orleans Pelicans after the 2012-13 season. The soon-to-be Pelicans would select Kentucky center Anthony Davis first overall, and Davis would change the New Orleans Pelicans odds, and culture. In their second season as the Pelicans, the team would go 45-37 and make the West playoffs as the 8th seed. Few people bet on the New Orleans Pelicans against the Warriors, who swept the Pels in four games. While Anthony Davis would develop into a superstar, he also struggled with injuries and the team missed the 2016 and 2017 postseasons. The team had both Davis fellow star big man DeMarcus Cousins for the 2017-18 campaign, and many fans bet on the New Orleans Pelicans being a factor in the playoffs. The New Orleans Pelicans odds looked even better after they swept the Blazers, and while some bet on the New Orleans Pelicans to pull off the shocking upset, the team would ultimately lose in five games to the eventual champion Warriors.
After losing 49 games during a season in which Anthony David demanded a trade, the New Orleans Pelicans odds were only six percent to win the draft lottery, but if you bet on the New Orleans Pelicans it would have paid off big, as the team won the lottery, and later selected phenom Zion Williamson out of Duke. The team also acquiesced to Davis’s demand, trading their star center to the Lakers for a package including Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.
With Williamson on a strict minutes restriction, Brandon Ingram emerged, averaging over 23 points and 6 rebounds per game, while being named to his first All-Star team. Williamson was also sensational in limited quantities, averaging over 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.
After the suspension of the 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Orleans Pelicans odds for winning a title were technically still alive as they were invited to the Orlando playoff bubble, and many fans even bet on the New Orleans Pelicans being invited to the bubble strictly to showcase Zion’s talents, but the team struggled in Orlando, going 2-6, and ended the season out of the playoffs.
With young stars Williamson, Ingram, and Ball, the New Orleans Pelicans odds have never been better, and with new voices David Griffin and Trajan Langdon leading the front office, many fans are ready to bet on the New Orleans Pelicans to become one of the best teams of the next decade.
7: Pete Maravich