Sometimes a team’s season is determined by the moves they didn’t make, which may be the case for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Last offseason it was heavily rumored that the Pelicans were after free agent Kyle Lowry, who was eventually signed by the Raptors and then traded to the Heat for veteran Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa.
I have to admit, at the time, I thought Lowry would be the perfect addition for the young Pelicans, as he is still a quality two-way guard and a great leader who already had an NBA ring.
I was disappointed that the Pels didn’t get him, especially after seeing the lowball package that sent him to the Heat, as I thought the New Orleans Pelicans could have offered a better package without disrupting their core or future plans.
It now looks like the New Orleans Pelicans may have dodged a bullet, as Lowry not only started to decline this season, but he would have prevented them from making a much more meaningful move.
New Orleans Pelicans: The luck of missing out on Kyle Lowry
First off, Kyle Lowry is a great player and will likely be in the Hall of Fame when his career is over. But his scoring dipped to 13.4 points per game this season (still on very good shooting numbers) which was the lowest since his 4th year in the league.
Lowry was fine during the regular season even though it was pretty clear he had lost a step, but it was in the playoffs where he really got exposed. The 36-year-old didn’t average double digits in the playoffs and just completed a series against Boston where he was arguably the worst player on the floor.
Lowry shot just 28 percent from the field against the Celtics and averaged 9.4 points per game even though he was playing 30 minutes. He was getting torched defensively as well:
He’s still under contract for two more seasons at $28 and 29 million, and looks like a guy who might be unplayable in the playoffs.
Not only that, but if the New Orleans Pelicans had landed Kyle Lowry, they almost certainly would not have been able to acquire CJ McCollum, who is not only six years younger than Lowry, but put up 24.3 points and 5.8 assists as a Pelican.
Yes, McCollum makes more, but he is also considerably better and the Pels were still able to get him without disrupting their core too much (though losing Josh Hart was a bummer).
If the Pels had landed Lowry, it’s possible that they would not have made the playoffs and would be stuck paying a 36-year-old nearly $60 million for his declining years.
Who you don’t sign is often just as important as who you do and the New Orleans Pelicans may have dodged a bullet when they missed out on Kyle Lowry.