6 Potential Pelicans free agent targets with ties to Zion Williamson

The Pelicans should target free agents who fit around Zion Williamson.
New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson
New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Gary Trent Jr.

Trent left Duke after his freshman season in 2018, and he missed playing with Zion Williamson by one season. Williamson arrived in the fall of 2018 and quickly became a sensation. The 6’5 wing barely played as an NBA rookie but has grown into a key rotation piece.

Trent averaged 13.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 28.1 minutes per game for the Raptors last season. He is a plus shooter and scorer with defensive concerns. The 25-year-old is just entering his prime and will be searching for a new home in free agency after he failed to sign an extension in Toronto.

What is Trent’s value in free agency? There was talk of a “lucrative” new contract last summer, but it never happened. He accepted his $18.5 million player option for the 2023-24 season, but he may have to settle for something closer to the mid-level exception in free agency. It only takes one offer to raise that price. Can Trent Jr. find that franchise this summer?

The Pelicans are rumored to be shopping Brandon Ingram (subscription required) and will likely lose Jonas Valanciunas in free agency. They will have plenty of scoring to replace. Gary Trent Jr. can certainly get buckets, but New Orleans is likely to focus more on their needs in free agency.