The New Orleans Pelicans are entering a crucial offseason.
With Zion Williamson already turning into a superstar in year two, pressure has mounted on the Pelicans to build a winner around him.
They did a poor job last offseason, missing out on some key role players that ended up helping other teams, namely the Suns.
David Griffin and Stan Van Gundy will be on the hot seat quickly if the Pelicans don’t win next season, so they need to have a great offseason that could radically change the roster.
They also have their own free agents to worry about, with Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart up for extensions.
There are ways for the Pelicans to keep both and still add a couple of key role players to fill out their roster. One of the biggest obstacles standing in their way will be the New York Knicks.
New Orleans Pelicans: The Knicks are going to have cap space
The New York Knicks have seven potential free agents this offseason, and while some of them might return, it’s more likely the Knicks will keep a couple and let the rest walk for the cap space.
The Knicks could end up with a substantial amount of cap space this offseason and might end up competing with the Pelicans for some of the same guys.
The Pelicans don’t necessarily have to make a big splash in free agency, but like the Knicks, they will be looking for savvy defenders who can shoot the 3-ball.
No none likes the Knicks’ owner, but it is still New York, so the Knicks could lure some of the free agents the Pelicans were hoping to sign.
New Orleans Pelicans: The Knicks might try to steal Lonzo Ball
It has long been rumored that the New York Knicks are interested in trying to sign Lonzo Ball this offseason.
There were some trade rumors at the deadline that fizzled out, but it seems like a match, as they need a playmaking point guard and Lonzo Ball might want a change of scenery to a bigger market and his more natural role.
Lonzo Ball is a restricted free agent, so the Pelicans will have a chance to match any offer, but the Knicks might swoop in and make it tough.
If the Knicks really want Lonzo Ball, they can probably have him by making an offer they know the Pelicans don’t want to match, somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 years/$100 million.
The Pelicans might ultimately decide that Lonzo Ball is not worth that money and walk away with nothing or they could match it, which would arguably be even worse. Either way, the Knicks could make David Griffin’s life miserable when it comes to Lonzo Ball.
WIth a lot of cap space and an eye for one of the Pels’ free agents, the New York Knicks might end up being the biggest offseason problem for the Pelicans.