NBA free agency: 30 greatest free agent signings in NBA history

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
12 of 30
New Orleans Pelicans
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Greatest free agency signings in NBA history: 19. Julius Randle- New Orleans Pelicans, 2018

Once the Laker nabbed their white whale in LeBron James, they had a bevy of salary cap space to adequately mold the rest of the roster around him. Their choices were…Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, and Michael Beasley.

Clearly, the Lakers would’ve been better served using that money to retain guys like Julius Randle.

Sure, he would’ve been an odd fit next to LeBron, but so were those aforementioned names. At the very least, it would’ve been easier for Lakers GM Rob Pelinka to justify that move as opposed to invoking Dennis Rodman to explain the acquisition of that motley crew.

Instead, Randle signed with the Pelicans for $18 million over two years in an attempt to give Anthony Davis a suitable big man in hopes that it would convince him to stay.

Of course, we all know how that went. Despite Davis requesting a trade out of New Orleans and the subsequent saga that revolved around the team not wanting to play Davis, Randle put up career numbers, at least as far as his per game stats go, as he averaged 21.4 points and 8.7 boards in his first season with the club.

With the anticipated arrival of Zion Williamson via the number one overall pick, Randle likely figured his days as a top option with the Pelicans were running out, which is why he declined the $9 million player option for 2019-20. If he receives a heftier payday from another team, it will be because of the resurgent play he flashed in New Orleans in what was a strange season for the organization.