3. Pelicans are willing to go into the luxury tax to win.
You know how people always say that small market teams aren’t willing to go into the luxury tax? Oftentimes, that sentiment is true. However, according to the Pelicans’ front office, that isn’t the case for New Orleans.
Griffin says that ownership is not forcing him to make sure that the Pelicans stay below the luxury tax line. And that’s good to hear because, as of right now, New Orleans is roughly 2.9 million dollars over the luxury tax threshold (per Spotrac). That means they currently have an estimated luxury tax bill of 4.4 million dollars.
We will know more about the validity of Griffin’s claim as we get deeper into the season. Will the Pelicans make moves that increase their luxury tax bill? Or will they sacrifice their ceiling to do some cost-cutting?
Regardless of what they do during the season, the Pelicans will likely have to fork over some dough this offseason. Ingram is eligible for a contract extension, but he’s going to wait until this summer because, as he said during media day, he wants to collect a bag with this deal.
Hopefully, if New Orleans is competitive this year, the front office and ownership don’t skip out on a chance to go all-in just to save a few bucks. And then, after the season is over, hopefully, the team is able to fairly and swiftly negotiate an extension with their franchise forward.