John Salmons may earn more court time with versatility

John Salmons’ experience and versatility certainly has not been lost on New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams.

Despite having not been very productive and thus not getting a lot of playing time, his ability to play small forward and shooting guard has helped keep him the mix. And with a big hole at small forward and starting guard Eric Gordon out injured, Salmons could be a dose of medicine for an ailing lineup.

“He can play both,” Williams said. “And in our system, (small forward and shooting guard) can be interchangeable.”

Except for size concerns. At 6-feet-6 and in his 13th year, guarding taller, younger, more athletic small forwards is even more of a challenge than it was when he was younger. He was brought in to strengthen the small forward spot, with Darius Miller, who has limited experience, and Luke Babbitt, who is a small, outside-shooting power forward, also playing there.

Miller got his first start of the season Tuesday against Sacramento, with Tyeke Evans moving from small forward to Gordon’s shooting guard spot. However, Miller didn’t score in 14 minutes, 22 seconds. He did not play Friday at Atlanta.

Williams then tried Austin Rivers as the starting shooting guard against the Hawks, and he, too, did not score, shooting 0-of-8. Salmons, however, may have provided a glimmer of hope, shooting 3-of-6 on 3-point attempts and scoring nine points in 25 minutes, with four assists, a steal and a blocked shot.

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