New Orleans Pelicans: Who will be the Pels’ 3rd scoring option?

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Jonas Valanciunas
Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the Memphis Grizzlies takes a shot during a NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans have two of the best young players in the NBA in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

But after trading Jrue Holiday to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Pelicans have lacked a reliable third scoring option. There have been various guys who have played that role, from Lonzo Ball to Eric Bledsoe (ugh), to Nickeil Alexander-Walker and even J.J. Redick at times, but none of them did it consistently enough to take the pressure off the Pels’ “Big-Two.”

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With some shakeups in the roster and three starters on other teams, the Pelicans are still going to be looking for that guy who can step up consistently and score 15-18 points and occasionally have a big night.

There are some obvious options, along with a few wild cards who might come out of nowhere and surprise some people.

New Orleans Pelicans: Jonas Valanciunas can score

The Pelicans traded away Bledsoe and Steven Adams for Jonas Valanciunas, who is a much better scorer than either and the frontrunner to be the 3rd guy for New Orleans.

Valanciunas averaged 17.1 points per game last season for Memphis and could be even better for the Pelicans depending on how he fits with Zion Williamson.

Zion needs space to operate, so I can see Valanciunas shooting more 3-point shots this season, but not getting as many looks in the post. He should also benefit from some easy put backs when his man leaves to double-team Zion.

But overall Valanciunas will probably take fewer shots than he did in Memphis, which might hurt his scoring average depending on how he shoots from long range.