3 Pelicans that earned untouchable status, 3 that should be cut loose

The Pelicans should be active in trade talks this offseason.
New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram
New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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Untouchable: Trey Murphy III

The 2021 first-round draft pick is extension-eligible before the start of the 2024-25 season. If the two sides cannot work out a deal, Murphy will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2025. The 6’8 wing will be searching for a massive deal, and the Pelicans should give it to him.

Murphy averaged 14.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 0.9 steals in 29.6 minutes per game last season. He is a career 39.2 percent 3-point shooter, and the 23-year-old is still years away from reaching his peak. Finding an elite shooting wing with his size and upside is not easy. Murphy will likely get over $100 million in his next contract, but that is the market price for talented and versatile wings.

New Orleans desperately needs shooting. They were 18th in 3-pointers made, despite finishing fourth in percentage this season because of their lack of floor spacers. Zion Williamson is the team’s best player, but he made just six total threes over his 70 games played. The Pels need shooting around him, and Murphy certainly offers it with plus size and athleticism.

If the New Orleans Pelicans plan to keep Herb Jones and Trey Muphy III, they must clear out some of their other pieces to rework their cap sheet and build a more cohesive roster. It likely means trading a key voice in their locker room.