Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Each week we ask questions of the most plugged-in New Orleans Pelicans fans and fans across the country.
The 2022 NBA free agency period is underway, kicking off at 5:00 p.m. local time, and there’s been multiple transactions agreed upon already in the first few hours.
Bradley Beal is signing a 5-year, $251 million max contract with the Wizards, Anfernee Simons is going to make $100 million on the Trail Blazers over the next four years, and the Knicks should soon make Jalen Brunson a very rich man.
Of course, the biggest news bomb was dropped before all the deal-making began when Kevin Durant’s representation issued a trade request to the Nets. The Phoenix Suns appear to be the favorite to land one of the all-time greats.
As for New Orleans, things have been very quiet on Airline Drive so far. However, this was fully anticipated. With 14 guaranteed contracts already on the books, Dyson Daniels slated to become the 15th and needing to cement a deal for E.J. Liddell, the Pelicans were never going to be active at the start of free agency.
If there are to be any changes to the roster, a trade or two will have to materialize, and the vast majority of you voted Devonte’ Graham is the most likely player to be moved.
As for who the Pelicans may pursue in free agency if they can create some space, there wasn’t a clear winner, with Isaiah Hartenstein narrowly edging out Gary Harris in yesterday’s survey. (Hartenstein has already agreed upon a deal with the Knicks.)
To be perfectly honest, the most important thing to monitor on this first day of free agency is Zion Williamson. Once the clock strikes 12:01 a.m on the East Coast, the Pelicans young star will be able to sign a rookie extension.
Those who are not free agents must wait until July 1st (the official start of the new NBA calendar year) before being allowed to agree to extensions.
Most have believed for awhile that Williamson will sign his extension as soon as he’s allowed, much like Ja Morant, Devin Booker and others, but Christian Clark of Nola.com reported yesterday that it’s not a guarantee.
Over the past month, the Pelicans and members of Williamson’s inner circle have expressed confidence that an extension will get done before the start of the 2022-23 season. But what the two sides need to figure out is how much of the extension will be fully guaranteed. Sources familiar with the situation believe there is a possibility that negotiations could last longer than many are anticipating because of this issue.
Fingers crossed that either Adrian Wojnarowski or Shams Charania fire off a tweet quickly once Williamson receives the green light to commit to New Orleans for a long time.
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