The Kyle Lowry rumors are in full swing of late, as the teams all around the league are trying to convince the Toronto Raptors legend to take his talents to the United States for the first time in almost a decade. Even the New Orleans Pelicans are trying to convince Lowry to make the trip to Louisiana.
The Pelicans have the hard parts of roster construction figured out, as they have a potential generational superstar in Zion Williamson to go along with an always-improving secondary scorer in Brandon Ingram on the perimeter. Finding a third star in a player like Lowry could be what makes them stand out in a very competitive Western Conference.
With the Pelicans supposedly ready to ditch Lonzo Ball if it means they can land a third star, David Griffin and the front office are gearing up for an aggressive offseason. However, they need to do some tinkering before they can be attractive to Lowry, who has made no secret of his desire for a multi-year, well-compensated contract.
Despite the fact that Marc Stein is reporting that New Orleans will try to compete with the likes of the Heat and 76ers for Lowry’s services, they need to find a way to offload the contracts of either Eric Bledsoe or Steven Adams in order to bring him in, and that is no easy task.
The Pelicans need to offload money before chasing Raptors star Kyle Lowry.
Bledsoe had his lowest scoring average since 2013, and he could end up with two more expensive years left on the four-year, $70 million contract that he signed during his time in Milwaukee.
While Adams is one of the strongest and toughest centers in the game, paying $34 million over the next two years for someone scoring 7.6 points per game isn’t a very attractive proposition.
A sign-and-trade might seem like a happy medium for both parties, as the Raptors would get something in return for Lowry (likely a first-round pick in addition to one of those contracts), but losing Lowry and replacing him with a huge downgrade in Bledsoe or an overpaid center like Adams might not be the wisest investment.
The Pelicans not only need to free up short-term space to bring him in, but they need to start planning for the inevitable earth-shattering deal that Williamson will eventually earn.
Even if they manage to pull off ALL of that, they still might not have the best chance of landing Lowry, as that trio with a rookie head coach in Willie Green might not be championship-caliber in a VERY deep Western Conference.
Lowry wants a long-term deal and he (likely) wants a chance to add one more championship ring to his trophy case. Considering the trajectory of the franchise and financial situation, New Orleans can’t offer him either without some serious wheeling and dealing.