The day began with Justin Verrier of ESPN announcing that the New Orleans Pelicans have decided to tender a qualifying offer to Tim Frazier.
The Pelicans tendered Tim Frazier a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent. His QO is worth $1,180,431.— Justin Verrier (@JustinVerrier) June 29, 2016
Frazier had a ridiculously good 16-game audition for Alvin Gentry and the rest of the team, posting 13.1 points, 7.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in a shade under 30 minutes per game.
A near consensus has existed for months that the surprising point guard was a shoe-in to return for next season, but it's not guaranteed. New Orleans simply has earned the right to match any offers for Frazier with today's move, but if another team was to make a ridiculous offer (thanks salary cap), the Pelicans might be forced to let him walk.
As for Frazier's teammate down the stretch of the 2016 injury-plagued season, James Ennis, the news was not as joyful per Scott Kushner of The Advocate.
Source: #Pelicans will not tender a qualifying offer to James Ennis, but would like to bring him back if numbers work out.— Scott Kushner (@ScottDKushner) June 30, 2016
Despite also lighting the world on fire (15.9 points, 2.7 threes, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals), Ennis will now become an unrestricted free agent. It's good to see the team remains interested in his services, but with just four wings guaranteed (Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Quincy Pondexter and Dante Cunningham), it begs the following questions: is Luke Babbitt still highly regarded, and more importantly, is Dell Demps confident the organization will be able to acquire a wing or two through free agency or trade?
As it was just reported a few minutes ago by Michael Scotto, Alonzo Gee has decided to opt-out.
Source: Alonzo Gee has declined his player option with the New Orleans Pelicans and he will become an unrestricted free agent as a result.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) June 30, 2016
Apparently, Gee's agent believes Alonzo can find a much richer contract. For the Pelicans, their depth on the wings continues to dwindle, and with Evans and Pondexter far from certain to be ready to be able to handle an 82-game schedule following significant knee injuries, Demps is going to have to be active in coming days.
Speaking of free agent wings, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported today that if Kent Bazemore decides to explore teams outside of Atlanta, New Orleans sits high on his list.
According to an NBA source, Bazemore is "not ruling the Knicks out because he fills a need for them at the wing." But the source isn’t sure if the Knicks will come into play. Bazemore’s intention is to stay in Atlanta. But if it doesn’t work out, Bazemore will have a bevy of suitors, including New Orleans and the Knicks.
Soon after Danny Ferry was named an official employee of the Pelicans, many began speculating that Kent Bazemore may choose to follow his former general manager. It would be interesting to learn whether Berman's source has new information or whether he's merely re-hashing the vibe created from the earlier conjecture.
If you missed it, David broke down Bazemore's free agency in greater depth. It sure seems like a pertinent read at this point in time.