The New Orleans Pelicans' backcourt became a lot more crowded Thursday night.

Two days before the NBA draft, Pelicans general manager Dell Demps hinted that the team's most pressing need, a small forward, might not be addressed in the annual player lottery. And he followed through on the prediction by trading for one point guard and drafting another one.

The addition of All-Star Jrue Holiday and rookie Pierre Jackson bolsters an already solid group and gives the club its deepest collection of perimeter talent in years.

A starting duo of Eric Gordon and Holiday would rank among the best young tandems in the NBA. Throw in Greivis Vasquez as the third guard and you have a trio of young guards that can compete with anyone in the NBA.

Only five guards in the NBA posted 20 or more double-doubles in the 2012-13 season. The Pelicans now have two of them -- Vasquez (29) and Holiday (20) -- in their backcourt.

And at 26, Vasquez is the elder statesman of the group so the trio should only continue to improve.

The addition of Holiday should have a catalytic effect on the rest of the Pelicans' lineup. It will improve the Pelicans at multiple positions.

With Holiday at the point, Williams has a defensive stopper who can keep opposing point guards out of the lane, a common problem from last season. It will allow Vasquez to slide to the shooting guard or small forward position, where his lack of lateral foot speed will be less of a liability.

It also gives the Pelicans flexibility. In Holiday, Gordon, Vasquez and Austin Rivers, coach Monty Williams now has four guards in the 6-foot-3 to 6-5 range that can shift interchangeably. Foul problems won't be nearly as big of an issue.

In a pinch or when the inevitable injury bug bites, Williams can call on the underrated Brian Roberts or Jackson for relief. You can -- and the Pelicans have in recent years -- do worse than Roberts as your fifth guard.

Moreover, the rotation of Holiday, Gordon and Vasquez will allow Rivers to develop at his own pace. The Pelicans aren't about to give up on the former Duke standout, who suffered through understandable growing pains during his rookie season.

If anything, Rivers cares too much. He's a smart kid who is keenly aware of his basketball pedigree. He wants to be good. In fact, he might want it too much. But his ambition is manageable and hardly a bad thing. It's certainly better than the alternative.

Williams' biggest issue might be finding an effective rotation that keeps everyone happy and productive. Obviously, that's a problem every coach would love to have.

Holiday's $11 million salary is not insignificant. Together, he and Gordon will earn more than $25 million this season. They are being paid to play like All-Stars and will need to for the Pelicans to become competitive in the bearish Western Conference.