The New Orleans Pelicans need cheap value in free agency.
The New Orleans Pelicans are not going to have a ton of money to spend in free agency.
Fans who think the Pels are grabbing Serge Ibaka, Goran Dragic or any of the other big dollar free agents are probably going to be disappointed.
After re-signing Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans won’t have much left, depending on what they do with some of their own free agents.
They could make a trade from their surplus of young talent or draft picks, but with the core of Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball and Ingram already in place, the Pels are more likely to tinker around the fringe than to make a franchise altering trade.
If you look at the teams still remaining in the playoffs, they all have one thing in common: cheap talent.
Almost every team managed to fill the back half of their roster with guys who not only contribute, but do it at a discount.
The Clippers are getting production out of cast off Reggie Jackson, the Lakers have Markieff Morris, Dion Waiters and Alex Caruso all doing their part for relatively small cap hits. The Rockets have Jeff Green, OKC has Nerlens Noel, and the Raptors, Bucks and Celtics all have guys producing on small contracts.
The New Orleans Pelicans will need more production out of their low-cost guys if they want to compete. This season, only Josh Hart ($1.93 million) and Frank Jackson ($1.61 million) fall into the category of “low-cost contributors” and Jackson was largely inconsistent and didn’t come on until the end of the season.
Darius Miller, Kenrich Williams, Jahlil Okafor, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and even Nicolo Melli were all non-factors, which is a problem when you see how much production other teams are getting out of their bench.
The Pelicans need to find their own low-cost contributors, and Dallas might be the place to look. Obviously they can’t sign all three, but all could fill a potential need at a discount.