With the season on hiatus and facing a possible cancellation, several New Orleans Pelicans may have played their last game with the team.
The NBA is prepping for play to resume in June as the best-case scenario and it may not return at all, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Cancelling the season is the last thing anyone wants, but the New Orleans Pelicans have to consider this possibility and how it will affect the team.
With no way of knowing how the suspension of play will affect revenue and the salary cap, teams may find themselves with less money to spend than anticipated, which will impact potential free agents.
This includes several members of the New Orleans Pelicans, who are hoping the shutdown is just a short hiatus and that they can continue their run at the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
It is an unprecedented time for the New Orleans Pelicans and the NBA as a whole.
The league could just pick up where it left off, start the playoffs with the current standings, have some type of play-in tournament or simply cancel the season entirely.
If the worst-case scenario happens and the season has to be cancelled, there are three players who have likely played their final games as New Orleans Pelicans.
Jahlil Okafor, Center
It seems like Jahlil Okafor has been in the league forever, but he is still just 24 years old. After a promising rookie year for 76ers, Okafor’s career has nose-dived.
His points and rebounds have gone down just about every year he’s been in the league, culminating in a trip to the G-League for Philadelphia.
Okafor did have a small resurgence last season for the New Orleans Pelicans, playing 59 games, including 24 as a starter, but he hasn’t seen much action in 2019-20.
He has played in only 28 games this season, most of them at the beginning and has logged a steady stream of DNP’s ever since.
Okafor is making just $1.7 million, so he’s in the range of most backup centers, but the New Orleans Pelicans simply won’t need him moving forward.
Not only do they have a promising young center in Jaxson Hayes, but Okafor plays the type of back-to-the-basket post game that is no longer part of the modern NBA, particularly for the New Orleans Pelicans, who want to get up and down the floor and shoot 3-pointers.
Okafor is one of those players who would have thrived in the 1990’s but missed his window.