6 Pelicans who won’t last the entire season in New Orleans

New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 6

The New Orleans Pelicans could look extremely different one year from now. They were one of the best teams in the NBA last season before injuries derailed things. Fans heard the Zion Williamson trade rumors this summer, and those will only grow louder with another lost season. It is now or never for their current core.

If the Pelicans struggle and fail to make the playoffs for the fifth time in the last six years, changes will come. Zion could be traded or they could just reshape things around their stars. New Orleans has a deep roster filled with young talent, but they must see on-court results to keep things together.

There are also financial concerns. The Pelicans are currently projected to be over the luxury tax, which would be a first for the franchise. Does New Orleans look to cut current and future salary to keep their spending in check? Fans should expect moves before the trade deadline and next offseason, but who will be leaving The Big Easy?

New Orleans Pelicans who won’t last the entire season

6. Kira Lewis Jr.

Lewis Jr. could be traded before training camp to help the Pelicans get under the luxury tax. He is set to make $5.7 million in the final season of his rookie deal, and the 22-year-old desperately needs a change of scenery. His playing time has decreased every year, and Lewis Jr. feels like an afterthought in the team’s rotation at this point.

Will someone take a flier on the former lottery pick? It has not happened yet, but rosters are far from set. The Pelicans could be holding out hope that his value improves before the trade deadline, but that only happens if Lewis Jr. plays a consistent role.

Expect Kira Lewis Jr. to be traded before the deadline. Where he ends up and his role on his new team are question marks at this point, but the 6’1 guard still has potential. Can he unlock it? That remains to be seen.