The New Orleans Pelicans are on the lookout for a small forward following the hamstring injury to starter Solomon Hill, according to coach Alvin Gentry.
He suffered the injury working out in Los Angeles. He needed surgery and is expected to miss six to eight months.
“I think we’ve got some players who can fill in, but we’ve really got to go out and find another guy of that size with a little bit of versatility, that can play some (power forward) or maybe even some (shooting guard) for us, depending on who we try to get,” Gentry said on the team website. “Right now we’ve got to decide if we’re going to add a guy and how we can do that.”
Quincy Pondexter and Darius Miller are the other small forwards on the Pelicans roster.
There has also been speculation that Gentry could implement a three-guard lineup of Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo and E’Twaun Moore to play alongside the big, talented frontcourt of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
Meanwhile, Shabazz Muhammed (Minnesota), Tony Allen (Memphis) and Gerald Green (Boston) are among the notable free-agent wings still unsigned.
Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Iman Shumpert, known primarily for defending wings, is also said to be available in trade talks.
But finding help won’t be easy.
“The Pelicans still have their full bi-annual exception ($3.29MM) available, but are getting dangerously close to the tax line, so a minimum deal may be necessary as they look to replace Hill,” Luke Adams of HoopsRumors wrote.
Regardless of the Pelicans’ next move, Gentry made it clear that Hill will be missed.
“I thought he guarded his position as well as anyone last year,” Gentry said of Hill. “He did a great job on guys like Paul George. Kevin Durant got his points, but it’s a matter of how he got those. I thought [Hill] did a great job in those situations. Not having him out there obviously takes a really good perimeter defender away from us, but we’ve got to find a way to fill in and adjust.”