Pelicans Keep no. 51, Take Carr

Posted at 11:47 PM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 00:47:14-04

METAIRIE, La. (AP) – The New Orleans Pelicans moved to strengthen their backcourt by selecting Penn State point guard Tony Carr in the second round of the NBA draft on Thursday night.
The Pelicans used the 51st overall pick, their only selection in the draft, to get the 6-foot-5 Carr, who averaged 19.6 points (second-most in the Big Ten), 5.0 assists and 4.9 rebounds as a sophomore last season.
New Orleans entered the offseason looking to upgrade their perimeter game, particularly with scorers who can create their own shot off the dribble. Carr shot just 40.8 percent from the floor last season, but that was an improvement from the 37.7 percent he shot while averaging 13.2 points as a freshman.
Carr improved his three-point percentage from 32.0 as a freshman to 43.3 as a sophomore.
Though the biggest uncertainty facing New Orleans in the offseason is the status of free agent All-Star forward DeMarcus Cousins. The organization also has a key free agent in point guard Rajon Rondo.
Starting shooting guard Jrue Holiday can also play the point, but backup point guard Ian Clark is also a free agent. Last year’s No. 2 pick, Frank Jackson, is a combo guard who missed all of his rookie season because of a foot injury.
Rondo, 32, was signed to a one-year deal last summer and proved to be a valuable veteran presence on a team with little playoff experience.
Cousins’ status is complicated by a couple of factors. He’s coming off a torn Achilles that ended his season in January, and the Pelicans played well after acquiring Niko Mirotic in a February trade with Chicago to replace Cousins. That trade cost them their first-round pick.
New Orleans wound up winning 48 games and sweeping Portland in a first-round playoff series before losing to Golden State in five games.