The New Orleans Pelicans will do everything they can this summer to build a playoff team around Zion Williamson. While the team is mentioned in plenty of trade rumors, they might have their eye on one of the top NBA free agents.
Entering the summer, the Pelicans’ needs are evident. New Orleans lacked reliable perimeter shooting this past season and defense was a recurring problem. Lonzo Ball could help address both issues, but he might be headed elsewhere. Instead, the Pelicans could find an upgrade over him at point guard.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, there is growing buzz that the Pelicans will enter the race and make a strong pursuit at Kyle Lowry in NBA free agency.
- Kyle Lowry stats (2020-’21 season): 17.2 ppg, 7.4 apg, 5.4 rpg, 39.6% from 3-point range and 4.1 Win Shares
For a roster that lacks legitimate playoff experience, Lowry’s postseason resume stands out. Across 97 career games in the NBA Playoffs, Lowry averaged 15.5 points, 5.8, 1.4 steals and shot 42% from the field. But he really stepped up during Toronto’s championship run, closing out Game 6 with 26 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and three steals.
Adding Lowry to the roster is easier said than done. New Orleans is operating with limited cap space, thanks in large part to Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams. So, the Pelicans would likely need to acquire the veteran point guard via sign-and-trade.
If they are able to pull it off this summer, Lowry puts the New Orleans Pelicans one step closer to reaching the playoffs in 2022. But to keep Zion happy, far more work needs to be done with this roster.