In an interview on the team's website, Pelicans coach Monty Williams said his biggest thing with guard Austin Rivers was "teaching him how to be a pro and understanding the little things."
"We got to be patient with him," Williams said. "I think he's one of the most criticized players in the NBA."
Rivers shot 40.5 percent from the field and averaged 7.7 points this season. He shot 37. 2 percent from the field and averaged 6.2 points last season.
"To watch him grow down the stretch, I was pretty proud of that," Williams said.
Williams also said the Pelicans need a strong presence inside, especially on defense, for next season.
"We played center by committee (last year)," he said. "Some nights it worked. Some nights it didn't work."