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2021 NBA Free Agency: Latest rumors involving New Orleans Pelicans

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The latest news regarding Kyle Lowry, Lonzo Ball, Spencer Dinwiddie — and two newest names popping onto the radar

Los Angeles Clippers v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

We’re just four hours away from teams being able to negotiate with free agents (5:00 PM CT), with actual signings allowed to begin on August 6 at 11:01 PM CT.

The New Orleans Pelicans have been involved in a number of rumors over the last few weeks so here’s a rundown of the latest news regarding certain key players.

Kyle Lowry

By numerous indications, Lowry feels destined for the Miami Heat as they’ve positioned themselves as the frontrunners to land the 15-year veteran. Per Adrian Wojnarowski,

Lowry has long been intrigued with joining Heat star Jimmy Butler and the Miami organization, and now Miami has maneuvered to have two key elements of a possible sign-and-trade package — guard Goran Dragic and forward Precious Achiuwa — to offer the Raptors once talks can ensue at 6 p.m. ET Monday, sources said.

Chris Paul

Although he turned down a $44.2 million player option for the upcoming season, CP3 is expected to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns. Per Sam Amick,

As much fun as it might be for Paul to join LeBron and his Lakers, the money just isn’t there. Ditto for the other Los Angeles team and the far-fetched notion of a Clippers reunion. There has been some chatter about New Orleans swooping in and inspiring Paul to rejoin the franchise that drafted him back in 2005, but rival executives believe he’ll remain with the Suns. The only question now, it seems, is how big of a bag he secures from Suns owner Robert Sarver.

Mike Conley Jr.

Many believed Conley was always going to stay with the Utah Jazz, but we received further proof last Friday, when the Jazz dumped Derrick Favors’ contract to the OKC Thunder. Per Tony Jones,

The Jazz had to make this trade. It was a salary dump in order to clear room to potentially sign Mike Conley in upcoming free agency. And if the Jazz don’t re-sign Conley, they can largely kiss their potential championship hopes goodbye. And that’s where this team is. The Jazz hope to win a title.

“We have championship aspirations,” general manager Justin Zanik said Thursday night.

Spencer Dinwiddie

Dinwiddie’s name has often been connected to New Orleans in the event the Pelicans whiff on Lowry. Per Jake Fisher, Dinwiddie could be the current leader in the clubhouse.

There are still scenarios where Dinwiddie could sign with Washington, because the Russell Westbrook trade between the Wizards and Lakers is not official and could always expand to include multiple teams. Yet Dinwiddie now seems like the preferred point guard option in New Orleans should Lowry indeed sign with Miami. For weeks, there has been a rumored two-year, $40 million offer that league sources believe Oklahoma City is prepared to make Dinwiddie as well.

Lonzo Ball/Malcolm Brogdon/Devonte’ Graham

While the Bulls, Celtics and Mavericks have often been connected to Zo during the process, two new destinations have popped up on the radar, the Hornets (with Devonte’ Graham going to New Orleans) and the Pacers (Malcolm Brogdon possibly Nola-bound. Per John Hollinger,

However, one late, hot item I’ve heard is that a double sign-and-trade may be in the works that sends Ball out (possibly to Chicago, NOT to Charlotte as I had earlier been led to believe) and Devonte’ Graham back to New Orleans. It could end up a very complex transaction.

Speaking of which, the Pacers are a dark horse in the Lonzo Ball sweepstakes if the Pelicans miss out on Lowry, as they could tempt New Orleans with a Brogdon-Ball swap. Brogdon’s name has bubbled up at other points in the last few weeks as well; keep an eye on this.

Update (2:00 PM): A 3-way deal involving the Bulls, Pelicans and Wizards has been reportedly discussed. Per Ian Begley,

A 3-way deal between the Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans, and Chicago Bulls is under consideration, sources confirm. The possibility was first reported by The Athletic. Tomas Satoransky, Lonzo Ball, and Devonte’ Graham are among names who have come up, per SNY sources.

Update (3:00 PM): More 3-way deals involving the Bulls, Pelicans and Wizards have come to light. Per Jake Fischer and Kristian Winfield,

There seems to be legitimate traction on a three-team sign-and-trade framework between Chicago, New Orleans and Charlotte that would likely nullify any of the Bulls’ fears of losing out on their preferred point guard target. From conversations with multiple league sources, the framework that would be discussed appears to focus on landing Ball in Chicago, Devonte’ Graham in New Orleans and Tomas Satoransky, Josh Hart and draft capital to Charlotte.

Satoransky has a known fan in Hornets head coach James Borrego, but several league personnel have suggested he could end up in New Orleans. Perhaps this deal ends up including only the Bulls and Pelicans.

Reggie Jackson

Another new name getting connected to New Orleans is playoff-standout Reggie Jackson. Per Sam Amick’s Twitter,

While the Clippers want to re-sign Reggie Jackson, source says he’s expected to receive serious interest from New Orleans if - when? - the Pelicans miss out on Kyle Lowry. The Knicks, Boston and Denver also interested.

Other targets: Doug McDermott, Zach Collins, JaMychal Green and Bryn Forbes

Jake Fischer listed these four names of having New Orleans’ interest in a column last Friday. Obviously, the Pelicans have a strong desire to add shooting after last season’s bottom-five finish in 3-point percentage so connections to all these players make sense. Perhaps one or two gets signed once the Pelicans figure out the bigger fish first.

We’ll continue to update this article as news breaks!

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