5 Pelicans who definitely won't be back, 2 who shouldn't return next season

These Pelicans could be wearing a different uniform to start the 2024-25 season.
New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram
New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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Shouldn’t be back: C.J. McCollum

The Pelicans acquired McCollum at the 2022 trade deadline. They took a swing and hoped landing a proven scorer and playmaker would help Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram get to the next level. In two and a half years together, New Orleans has made two playoff appearance and has not won a postseason series. They cannot afford to be paying three players $30-plus million per year to end their season in the first round of the playoffs.

New Orleans is 93-74 when McCollum has played, which is a 55.6 percent winning percentage. The Warriors and Kings finished ninth and tenth in the Western Conference this season and each won 56.1 percent of their games.

McCollum has scored over 20 points for nine straight years, and the Pelicans desperately need his shooting and playmaking. He turns 33 years old before the start of the 2024-25 campaign, and the Pelicans must acquire an upgrade if they plan on contending.

C.J. McCollum becomes extension-eligible this summer and has two years and $64 million remaining on his contract. Can the Pelicans trade him for some pieces that get them closer to contending? Does David Griffin blow things up and reset in the Big Easy? New Orleans certainly needs a change if they want to become serious title contenders.