Herbert Jones’ future with the New Orleans Pelicans

Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans have a handful of decisions to make over the next couple of days/weeks. One of those decisions is what to do with defensive ace Herbert Jones moving forward.

They have already taken the first step toward resolving this solution by declining Hebert Jones’ 1.8 million dollar team option.

As the back half of the Shams Charania tweet suggests, there is still more work to be done. The reason they declined Jones’ team option is so that he could become a restricted free agent and negotiate a long-term deal with the team to keep him locked down moving forward.

Remember, since Jones is a restricted free agent, it means that the Pelicans can match any offer other teams will offer Jones. That begs two questions. One, how high will other teams try to go? And two, how high are the Pelicans willing to match? So far, it has been rumored that the Pelicans and Jones will agree to a 4-year deal worth in the ballpark of 50 million dollars.

In his first two seasons, Jones has shown that he’s already one of the best perimeter defenders in the association. Last season, he finished in the 98th percentile in Defensive Estimated Plus-Minus (DEF) – one of the best one-number metrics on the market (per Dunks & Threes). He finished in the 92nd percentile the season before.

He’s also proven to be a solid driver, cutter, and passer. The only real hole in his game is that he isn’t that great of a shooter (33.5% from three in 2022-23), which is problematic when you play a primarily off-ball role on offense. It’ll be interesting to see how high/low the Pelicans value Jones.

Along with Jones, the Pelicans also declined Willy Hernangomez’s team option (which was worth 2.6 million). They also did not extend the qualifying offer to Hayes (worth about 7.7 million), which makes him an unrestricted free agent. And they picked up Naji Marshall’s 1.8 million dollar team option.

Next. 10 Players the Pelicans gave up on way too soon. dark