If Tyreke Evans does make his way to New Orleans this offseason, the Pelicans will have to do some maneuvering to make the salary cap math work. While this could take several forms—trading Eric Gordon, finding a taker for Greivis Vasquez or other bench fodder, etc.—one option the Pelicans will likely explore is buying out Robin Lopez’s partially guaranteed deal for $500,000 before the July 5th deadline. Lopez, who started much of last season, is currently slated to earn just over $5.1 million in 2013, according to the indispensable spotrac.com salary database, so issuing him his walking papers would make a considerable impact on the team’s cap situation.

This option is appealing financially, but will only work on the court if the Pelicans are comfortable with transitioning to a frontcourt rotation anchored by Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis. At the offensive end, this is a solid pairing, matching the elite perimeter shooting of Anderson with Davis’s athleticism nearer the basket. Anderson’s floor-spacing creates ample room for Davis to work the pick-and-roll game with new addition Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, or (in this scenario) Tyreke Evans, depending on the matchups on a given night. If the pieces jell, the offense could be dynamic. There is little doubt that this pairing is what the then-Hornets front office envisioned when they traded for Anderson and drafted Davis.

The bigger question comes at the defensive end of the court. Anderson puts great effort into his defensive assignments, and has historically acquitted himself quite well, especially against other stretch fours. His rebounding is quite respectable for other players in his position and role. However, Anderson is only a “good” athlete by NBA standards. He may struggle if forced to take on a more central role in the team’s defensive scheme, although he can only be helped by having an elite rim protector behind him.
Davis, on the other hand, has no such athletic limitations. Davis’s pterodactyl reach, explosive leaping ability, and excellent timing have already made him a high-level shot-blocker at the NBA level. However, Davis remains extremely thin for the center position; for all his athleticism, the admittedly small number of low-post bangers with developed post games will likely be able to bully their way deep into prime post position. While players such as Kevin Garnett have learned to thrive in the post despite stick-thin frames, the prototypical post player typically carries a tad more bulk to assist in the physical battles under the basket.