The New Orleans Pelicans could have a radically different roster by the beginning of next season.
They have decisions to make on restricted free agents Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, who could be re-signed, let to walk entirely or used in some sort of sign-and-trade deal with another team like the Chicago Bulls or New York Knicks.
The Pelicans will also look to move on from veteran shooting guard Eric Bledsoe, which could leave them with only Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis Jr. as guards heading into next season.
If the Pelicans do decide for a clean slate, they will need to add some talent at guard and shooting guard Norman Powell could be the guy.
New Orleans Pelicans NBA Free Agents: Norman Powell makes sense
Powell is coming off the best season of his career, averaging 18.6 points for the Raptors and Trail Blazers while shooting over 41 percent from 3-point range on six attempts per game.
In case you didn’t notice, the Pelicans were near the bottom of the league in 3-point percentage, so definitely need to add some shooting and spacing around superstar Zion Williamson.
Powell is a guy who can get you a consistent 18-20 points per night and occasionally much more, as he showed when he dropped 43 points on the Pistons this season.
But there are more reasons to like Powell.
Pelicans: Free Agent Norman Powell fixes a few glaring problems
Powell has the size to play both shooting guard and wing, so he could potentially fix a few of the Pelicans’ glaring problems, as he can shoot and defend multiple positions.
Powell is still only 28-years-old, so the Pels could get most of his prime years and he could slot right in as the third scoring option behind Zion and Brandon Ingram.
Powell has played well in the playoffs, and scored 29 in a win over the Nuggets this season. He has the experience and skillset the Pelicans need and is a good locker room presence who will be happy as the third option as he was in Portland.
Powell has a player option for next season that will pay him $11.6 million if he accepts it, which he almost certainly won’t, as he can get a bigger, long-term deal on the open market.
If the New Orleans Pelicans end up letting their free agents walk for the cap space, then Norman Powell would be an upgrade that makes a lot of sense.