The Pelicans could take a risk on a former All-Star free agent

The New Orleans Pelicans have 14 players signed for next season plus a top-10 draft pick on the way, so they aren’t likely to be major players in free agency.

They do have a bit of a guard problem, with three undersized guys in Jose Alvarado, Kira Lewis Jr. and Devonte’ Graham who aren’t all likely to be able to get minutes next season.

The playoffs also showed that the Pelicans could use another veteran coming off their bench, and if they were able to part ways with Graham or Lewis Jr., grabbing a low-cost veteran would make sense, especially if that player can defend the position and shoot the 3-ball.

Victor Oladipo is just now coming back from another season lost to injury but is playing well for the Miami Heat in the playoffs and could be a potential low-cost bench upgrade for the Pelicans, as he will be an unrestricted free agent.

But does he make sense for New Orleans?

How Victor Oladipo would fit with the New Orleans Pelicans

Oladipo took a 1 year/$2.3 million deal from the Miami Heat this season but only played in eight regular season games.

He has played in six of their playoff games as well, putting up double digits off the bench. When healthy, he’s a guy who can make an impact on both ends, as he is still a good on-the-ball defender, can get his own shot and knocks down a decent rate from behind the arc.

He’d fit into what the Pels are building defensively and would form a formidable duo with Alvarado off the bench in that regard, as this is a guy who led the league in steals just a few seasons ago.

But Oladipo hasn’t played much in the last three seasons, so there is obvious injury risk there for a team that was submarined by injuries this season.

He’d have to be on a lowball contract, in which case he might just stay in Miami, since they are the team that gave him a shot and are contenders now.

But if he wanted a fresh start with an up-and-coming team where he would have an immediate bench role (depending on the Pels’ offseason of course), New Orleans could be the spot.

This would almost certainly require the Pelicans to trade Devonte’ Graham, which might not be easy without attaching an asset, but Oladipo would potentially be a low-cost replacement who offers a lot more on the defensive end and can do more than just chuck 3-point shots on offense.