Why October will be a huge month for the New Orleans Pelicans
There are plenty of important offseason dates for the New Orleans Pelicans, including July, which will mark the beginning of free agency.
The Pels don’t have any glaring positional needs, so may end up doing little other than sort our their own roster, which currently has too many players on it.
They could go after a ring-chasing veteran, someone who will take less money to join a contender, but barring that or a massive trade, it’s hard to imagine the Pels making a big splash.
What will be more important is what they do with their own guys, and the Pelicans certainly have some tough decisions to make.
October could end up being the month where the plans are revealed, as there are some important dates regarding a trio of players, including Zion Williamson.
October will be a big month for the New Orleans Pelicans
Here are some important dates for the Pelicans in October:
October 17th: This is the final day that the New Orleans Pelicans can ink extensions with CJ McCollum, Zion Williamson and Jaxson Hayes.
The Zion deal will come first, as it is the most important and will dictate the Pelicans’ financial flexibility for years to come.
It’s possible that McCollum will also ink his deal early, as he sees the writing on the wall, likes the city of New Orleans and may see them as his best chance to wing a ring. There will be mutual interest in bringing him back, though the financial side will be tricky considering his age and value.
Jaxson Hayes is the least likely to get that extension, as the Pels may be happy to make him prove it this year and allow him to go to restricted free agency. If things don’t pan out, they can let him walk without the risk of signing him to a big extension.
October 31st: This will be the final day for the Pelicans to pick up team options on Trey Murphy II and Kira Lewis Jr.
The Murphy option is a no-brainer, as he played well down the stretch last season and will be on a value deal.
Kira Lewis Jr. isn’t so cut and dry, especially after he missed most of last season. Jose Alvarado stepped up in his absence and the Pelicans may no longer see Kira as part of the future, especially at $5.7 million, which is a lot to pay for a guy who doesn’t have a clear path to minutes.
These deals could all be sorted well before then, but keep an eye on the calendar, as these extensions and options will be key to the Pels’ financial future.