New Orleans Pelicans: Waiting for Zach LaVine in free agency may be smarter
If the Pelicans were to trade for Zach LaVine, they would have to have some kind of guarantee that he would sign an extension to stay with the team, otherwise it would be a huge risk, as he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.
If the Pelicans wait and just try to bid for LaVine, they wouldn’t have to give up anything other than money, which may be more appealing than sending a haul of players and picks to the Bulls for a potential rental.
There is also the matter of cap space, as the Pelicans probably wouldn’t have enough to get LaVine unless they were to give up on Jonas Valanciunas or were willing to go well into the tax.
Valanciunas will be an unrestricted free agent himself and it will probably cost upwards of $20 million per season to retain him.
The Pelicans would have to do some wheeling and dealing to get under the cap, which is one of the reasons Josh Hart’s contract is so appealing, as the Pels can potentially get out of it next season, making it easy to trade away.
Even if they could squeeze LaVine in as their third star, is he even a good fit?