Once again, the New Orlean Pelicans fell below 500. Despite the addition of a Play-in Tournament, the 11th seat was still on the outside looking in. Another year, another disappointing season. To keep their young superstar happy, the Pelicans have to make a playoff push next season. In other words, this offseason is critical for the future of the franchise. Luckily for them, they have their eyes on someone who could turn their fortune around. Kyle Lowry will be the New Orlean Pelicans’ big fish to catch in the 2021 free agency.
In a recent episode of the NBA Mismatch podcast, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer shed some light on the Pelicans’ plan.
“I heard David Griffin loves Kyle Lowry. He wants Lowry badly.”Kevin O’Connor The Mismatch
He also mentions how Griffin, the Lead Executive of the Pelicans, is under huge pressure. Missing the playoffs this season, he feared All-Star Zion Willamson growing disgruntled. He also believes that starting point guard Lonzo Ball will leave during free agency.
As such, the addition of Kyle Lowry would kill two birds with one hole. Not only will he fill the hole at point guard, but the 6-time All-Star could also be a culture-changer. Having won the 2019 NBA Championship with the Raptors, Lowry was the heart and soul of the team. His leadership and veteran presence could be what the Pelicans needed to take the next leap. With Kyle Lowry, they could go from rebuilding to playoff-ready in a single postseason.
Pelicans youth and lost
The Pelicans’ youthful rebuild began when they traded All-Star Anthony Davis. The return package from the Lakers consisted of young players as the team looks ahead to the future. Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart join the team in 2019. This coincides with the Pelicans winning the 1st pick in the NBA draft lottery. They selected Zion Williamson, a generational talent who received immense hype post-draft.
After a year of learning to play together, hopes were high for the young Pelicans. In preparation for the 2020-2021 season, the front office made big moves to improve the team. They hired Stan Van Gundy as head coach and made trades to improve the roster. While they lost Jrue Holiday, they added Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe to guide the young team. Despite these changes, the Pelicans went 31-41, only improving by 1 win last year. The Pelicans seem lost; they were a team without an identity. After one season, Stan Van Gundy left, and his replacement is Willie Green. Willie Green, an assistant with the Phoenix Suns this year, will be the 3rd youngest head coach in the NBA.
The last chance
Despite a disappointing season, the Pelicans need to improve. News of Williamson’s family wanting him out has come out, and time for the team is running short. With a young lineup and a young coach, they need an experienced leader. Kyle Lowry will be their target this offseason. The Pelicans will pursue him in hopes of making significant improvements to the team. If they fail to do so, they may face the departure of a superstar once again. Davis may have left, but the Pelicans will do everything they can to keep Williamson.