The New Orleans Pelicans were gearing up to enter the 2015-16 NBA season with some question marks at point guard. Due to lingering Jrue Holiday leg issues, Holiday was slated to be limited for much of the year, keeping Tyreke Evans at the point most of the time. That move along impacted their depth at point guard and shooting guard, while an ankle injury to Norris Cole made adding depth an even bigger priority.

The team answered by bringing in veteran fire cracker, Nate Robinson.

Robinson hypothetically gives the Pelicans instant offense off the bench, which is what they thought they were getting when they signed former BYU stud Jimmer Fredette to a one-year deal last summer. That signing didn’t work out, as Fredette wasn’t able to replicate his offensive burst and didn’t qualify as a stable option at the point. Despite being 31 years old and dealing with knee issues in recent years, Robinson should serve as a quality upgrade over Fredette and more importantly, could help the Pelicans with their depth issue.

Robinson has never had any trouble scoring the ball at the NBA level, as he easily dropped in over 10 points per game through 2011-2013, and did so without averaging more than 25 minutes per game in any season. Robinson’s immediate role is merely to round out the point guard depth chart, but the veteran combo guard ultimately frees New Orleans up to roll out various lineups. Thanks to his ability to man the point and run an offense, Robinson can man the lead guard spot and allow Holiday to stay on his early-season minutes cap (15 minutes) and even let Tyreke Evans slide over to shooting guard or small forward. Robinson’s ability to play the point also should allow Cole to take the time he needs to fully recover.

When he’s not manning the point, Robinson can be effective at shooting guard when the Pelicans play small ball, although his ideal spot would normally be at the point. It’s a strong signing for a team that made the NBA playoffs last year and has made some solid moves to try to take things to the next level. Bringing in head coach Alvin Gentry was one big move, as he’ll know precisely how to maximize the Pelicans on offense. Coming from the NBA Finals-winning Golden State Warriors, Gentry is seen as a huge addition.

Robinson isn’t quite as big of an addition as New Orleans’ new head coach, but he shouldn’t be over-looked. Robinson has bounced around the league quite a bit, but he’s enjoyed success as a bench scorer wherever he’s been and if he’s ultimately your fourth best point guard, you’re doing something right. New Orleans was already a safe pick to return to the playoffs for the second year in a row, but adding a quality player to max out their depth only makes them that much better.

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