In news we all saw coming, HoopsHype.com is reporting that Anthony Morrow will in fact opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this season.
Morrow made it pretty clear during the season that this was coming so this report is more of an update than breaking news but it matters for New Orleans.
Morrow had a great year off the bench for the Pelicans, averaging 8.8 points and shooting 45.8 percent from three, a number that finished fourth in the league. On a team starved for spacing Morrow shined but spreading the floor and knocking down the three pointers that Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans created for him. With all the injuries crippling the Pelicans at the end of the season Morrow shined ever more, averaging 15.5 points including a 27 point effort in a win against the Clippers in March.
It seems very likely that Morrow becomes on of the Pelicans top offseason priorities thanks to both his play on the court and his friendships and leadership off of it.
According to NOLA.com’s Nakia Hogan Morrow forged “a bond with All-Star forward Anthony Davis and prized offseason acquisition Tyreke Evans.” Since fits around those two players and Jrue Holiday should be priorities going forward for the Pelicans brass that seems to be a good sign for Morrow. Head coach Monty Williams also seemed to be high on Morrow, going out of his way to praise him a few times during his postseason press conference.
All these factors don’t mean Morrow returning to New Orleans is a guarantee though. Shooting is one of the most valuable things in the NBA and Morrow is one of the best shooters in the NBA today, trailing only Steph Curry and Steve Novak on the active three-point percentage list. Morrow also proved this season that he was capable of fitting into a defensive scheme, something that had not allowed him to stay in rotations during his last NBA stops.
Either way the story has just started so make sure to stay tuned to Pelican Debrief for reaction of every twist and turn along the way.