The New Orleans Pelicans need free agents to complement Zion Williamson and Steven Adams.
The New Orleans Pelicans woke many of us up last night when news broke of the trade for Steven Adams.
The details are still coming in, but it appears that the Pelicans have traded George Hill, Darius Miller a 2023 first-round pick from Denver and two second-round picks for the big Kiwi.
This is a great deal for the Pelicans, as it moves from an area of surplus to fill their most desperate need, a rim protector who can set screens and add some toughness to a soft roster.
Adams is a fit on the roster, doesn’t hurt their financial flexibility and raises the ceiling for what this team can be.
But the Pelicans likely aren’t done and still have some moves to make in free agency, specifically, finding some players that complement Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Steven Adams.
Here are four remaining free agents that could help the Pelicans, albeit in very different ways. Two fall into the 3-and-D wing category, a role that has to be atop the Pels’ wish list.
They could also go after a young player with the potential to grow and be part of the long-term future or a retread who might just need a change of scenery to thrive.
New Orleans Pelicans: Two free-agent wings to complement Zion Williamson and Steven Adams
The 3-and-D Wings
Jae Crowder now has to be on top of any list of remaining 3-and-D wings and would be a great addition to the New Orleans Pelicans.
He is a tough defender who can guard multiple spots, is big enough to take on power forwards and can still stroke the 3-point shot, which he showed in the playoffs, hitting some clutch shots for Miami.
Crowder would bring additional toughness and playoff experience to a team that lacks it, would be a nice complement to Brandon Ingram on the wing and gives the Pels a much-better defensive option.
A little farther down on the 3-and-D list is Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, a guy who is younger than Crowder but not nearly as accomplished.
Hollis-Jefferson is a woeful 3-point shooter but a scrappy defender who has the size to guard multiple positions. Perhaps a training camp with Fred Vinson would be enough to get his shot on track, but either way, he can defend.
Hollis-Jefferson is a potentially low-cost option who fits well with Zion Williamson and Steven Adams.