Could the New Orleans Pelicans Still Add Another Center?

The New Orleans Pelicans finally signed a new free agent center, but it may not be enough to fill the void of Jonas Valanciunas.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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The New Orleans Pelicans recently signed a new free agent big man, but is it enough to feel good about their center situation with Jonas Valanciunas gone to the Washington Wizards?

When ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski announced that Daniel Theis would be signing a one-year deal with New Orleans, there was an air of relief. The team badly needed another body at center.

Theis may end up being the starting center next season and while isn't exactly the player that a playoff team wants in the starting lineup, he still offers a lot.

He hasn't played a lot over the past few years, but brings a bit of floor spacing and defense to the position.

The Germany native played in 59 games for the Los Angeles Clippers last season, a bounce back from entering just seven with the Indiana Pacers a year before.

He's been a fairly consistent player throughout his time in the NBA and that didn't change. His career averages are an accurate look at what New Orleans can expect out of him. The 32-year-old plays 19.1 minutes per game with 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds. The most interesting number is 33.1% from deep on 1.5 attempts per game.

That's an increase in percentage on the same amount of looks that Valanciunas got last season.

Overall, Theis is not that much worse of a player than Valanciunas.

The net rating difference between the two is about 1.5 The big drop offs comes with rebounding and playmaking. Theis is not going to have the ball in his hands nearly as much as Valanciunas did a year ago. That might be a good thing, though, given that the former Pelicans center had more turnovers than CJ McCollum and Herbert Jones.

Perhaps with more opportunities thrown his way, Theis can prove to make a noticeable impact.

If New Orleans has it's way, though, they'll be able to trade for another starting caliber center before the season starts.

Valanciunas isn't the only hole they need to fill. Larry Nance Jr. got a lot of playing time at the five and was traded away to the Atlanta Hawks in the blockbuster Dejounte Murray trade.

Yves Missi was taken with the No. 21 overall selection in the latest NBA draft and has a ton of potential, but is likely too raw to take up major minutes as a rookie.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is still on the roster but is more of a power forward/center hybrid and only played 8.6 minutes per game a year ago.

While they may be able to survive with this group as they'll be leaning to a smaller lineup this season anyway, bringing in another starting quality center should still be a priority.

Dylan Sanders