When New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams puts in his backups this season he doesn't want a drastic dropoff in production that occurred frequently last season.

In a push to strengthen his bench Williams plans to use swingman Tyreke Evans as a backup rather than as a starter although he's one of their most talented players.

Despite that starting shooting guard Eric Gordon's durability remains in question and starting small forward Al-Farouq Aminu struggled with inconsistency as a midrange scorer last season Williams thinks Evans can make a bigger impact playing with the second unit with forwards Ryan Anderson and Jason Smith.

Evans appears to have embraced his new role although it's not certain yet if he will play more at shooting guard or small forward.
"It’s a different situation for me but it’s exciting that I’m going to play with these guys’’ Evans said. "It’s going to help me out a lot and help them.''
It's likely when the Pelicans play their preseason opener Saturday at the Houston Rockets their starters will be Jrue Holiday at point guard Anthony Davis at power forward Greg Stiemsma at center Aminu at small forward and possibly Anthony Morrow at shooting guard in place of Gordon who is likely to miss the first two weeks of preseason games to improve his conditioning after going through rehabilitation the entire offseason to recover from ankle surgery in May.

Williams admits it's going to take time in the preseason to find out just how effective his second unit will be with Evans and Austin Rivers or Brian Roberts sharing minutes at point guard.

"One of the things that we brought up with him before we signed him (Evans) was if he was good with coming off the bench'' Williams said. "He said it was never an issue and he just wanted to be here. I think the idea of playing with Ryan and Jason in the second unit is probably exciting for him. But it's also something that we have to work out in camp to get everybody on the same page.''

Because of his versatility Evans was the Pelicans' primary target in free agency. They offered him a four-year $44 million contract this summer as a restrictive free agent. The Kings declined to match the offer and worked out a sign-and-trade deal with the Pelicans for Greivis Vasquez last season's starting point guard in New Orleans.


"I think Tyreke has to be on the floor with shooters because it opens up the floor and he can do what he does best which is to attack the basket'' Williams said.

When Evans played the past four seasons with the Sacramento Kings he rarely came off the bench. He started 61 of 65 games last season and 61 of 63 in 2011-12. But the rebuilding Kings didn’t have the depth the Pelicans do.

"I'm most effective with the ball in my hands'' Evans said. "With that group and Jason picking and popping it's definitely going to make the game easier on me.''