New Orleans Pelicans Looking to Move Two Key Players

Published July 19, 2021 at 1:29 PM

Will Guillory of The Athletic reported today that the Pelicans will look to trade at least one of Steven Adams or Eric Bledsoe. Adams and Bledsoe were brought onto the roster last season to establish a veteran presence around the Pelicans' young core of Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and Lonzo Ball.

Both Adams and Bledsoe had massively underwhelming seasons, and it appears that the front office won't be giving either one of them a second chance. In clearing these two contracts, the Pelicans should be able to free up about $30m in cap space depending on what contracts they take in return. This essentially clears the way for New Orleans to sign a player to a maximum level contract in the offseason.

This move is perplexing considering that the 2021 free-agent class isn't particularly strong, and the Pelicans have also shown a willingness to move on from starting point guard Lonzo Ball. With Ball and Bledsoe presumably gone, the Pelicans will have to use some of their cap space to sign a starting guard. There aren't many max-worthy point guards this offseason unless the Pelicans believe they'll be able to acquire Chris Paul, Mike Conley, or Kyle Lowry. It follows that the most likely scenario is that the Pelicans will use their ~$30m in cap space to sign better role players to surround their two young stars.

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