After a quiet offseason, vibes are great in the New Orleans Pelicans’ training camp and they will head into the season with a full roster ready to compete for the Western Conference.
But the roster we see now might not be the same by the end of the season, as the Pels have several players whose futures with the team are far from set.
Kira Lewis Jr. could be one of them, but he’s still just 21-years-old, coming off injury and under team control for two more seasons of his rookie deal, so New Orleans has time, though they do have to make a decision on his team option by the end of October.
If New Orleans decides to exercise his option, they’ll have Lewis Jr. under contract for $5.7 million in 2023-24, so there is still time for him to regain his spot in the rotation and prove he deserves to be part of the long-term plans. Even if he isn’t, the Pelicans would be smart to keep him around long enough to prove he is healthy and regain some value on the trade market.
But there are three other players who for contract or fit reasons, might not make it through the season with the New Orleans Pelicans.
3 Pelicans who won’t finish the season in New Orleans
Garrett Temple is 36-years-old and very unlikely to be part of the Pelicans rotation unless there are several injuries. While Temple doesn’t have any value on the trade market, his contract does and the Pelicans could need it if they decide to make a trade at any point this season.
Temple is making $5.1 million this season and 5.4 million in 2023-24, but that second year is only partially guaranteed. His salary is big enough to help grease the wheels of a trade, but is not a long-term financial burden, so he could easily be moved this season.