The New Orleans Pelicans will have many questions to answer this offseason after missing the postseason for the third consecutive year.
In what was yet another subpar season for New Orleans, one bright spot proved to be the play of second-year phenom Zion Williamson. The All-Star forward had a fantastic sophomore season by averaging 27 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game before suffering a fractured finger that ended his stellar season prematurely.
With Williamson set to continue his ascension to stardom, the front office must look to bring in fitting pieces alongside their budding superstar to put them in a better position to win now.
This importance is significantly heightened following The Athletic (subscription needed) releasing a report stating that several members of Williamson’s family might be growing unhappy with the situation in New Orleans and may want the young star on a new team.
This will be a critical 2021 NBA Free Agency period for the New Orleans Pelicans as they look to build around Zion Williamson
The most apparent need for New Orleans in the offseason is adding more floor spacing from long range to surround Williamson with. The big man’s outside jumper is not his forte, as he shot just 10-for-34 (29.4 percent) from 3-point range across 61 games this season. In addition to his poor shooting, the rest of the supporting cast did not help much as the team collectively shot a lackluster 34.8 percent from behind the arc during the regular season. That ranked as the 26th worst mark in the association during that timeframe, and it was clear all throughout the year that they needed more spacing to succeed.
The Pelicans have unearthed some much-needed cap space to use this offseason following a surprise trade that went down on Monday, with all signs pointing to an aggressive approach ahead to try and end their playoff drought next season. If that is indeed the case, here are five free agents New Orleans should fixate their sights on in free agency to pair with Zion Williamson for next season.