New Orleans Pelicans 2021 Roster: What the Team Looks Like After All Trades and Free Agency Signings

Published 11/23/2020, 7:30 AM EST


The New Orleans Pelicans have missed out on entering the playoffs for consecutive years. However, the 2020/21 season sheds a bright light on the franchise due to massive roster upgrades. Here’s a look at how the Pelicans have equipped themselves with trades and free-agency signings.

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Before we dive in, readers should be aware that sophomore Zion Williamson is currently the longest-tenured player on the Pelicans’ roster. This might come as a surprise, but it is an indication that the franchise is longing for short term success. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 07: Zion Williamson attends the Jordan Brand launch of the Air Jordan 34 in Harlem on September 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

They’ve made bold trades and free-agent signings which undoubtedly adds to the offseason madness. Without further adieu, why don’t we graze through the players signed and lost by the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2020 offseason? 

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New Orleans Pelicans transactions: Players signed via trades and free agency

The first update should be the massive deal that the Pelicans secured. They extended their Jrue Holiday trade deal and won an experienced center out of it. Steven Adams was traded out from OKC after seven long years and he’ll be a Pelican starting next season. 

It was reported that New Orleans had been pursuing Adams since 2019 and they’ve finally landed him. His deal was sealed through a four-team trade and in return, OKC received George Hill, Darius Miller a 2023 first-round pick, and two second-round picks (2023 and 2024). 

The Pelicans also signed up free-agent Willy Hernangomez to add to their roster strength. The Spanish player has signed a one-year minimum deal and made the All-Rookie first team in 2017. 

The Pelicans also received the services of Eric Bledsoe from the Milwaukee Bucks as part of the elongated Jrue Holiday trade. The Pelicans received Bledsoe and George Hill along with draft compensations for trading out Holiday. 

Though Hill was subsequently sent to the Thunder, the team is keeping Bledsoe intact due to his defensive skills. He can be a valuable backup point guard in the team. 

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Players Lost

The biggest loss the Pelicans suffered this season is the exit of Jrue Holiday. Though they got a couple of players and several draft picks in return, the combo guard was massively evolving his game to suit the team. 

However, he has now been traded to the Bucks and can earn a bright future there. New Orleans has been compensated richly and there can be no complaints. They also had to send forward Darius Miller to the Thunder to compensate for the Adams trade. 

The Pelicans then lost big man Derrick Favors who left for Utah. Favors joined the team in 2019 and spent just one season before switching to a different franchise. He’s played for Utah before and the free-agent signed a three-year deal much to the delight of the Jazz fans. 

Another free-agent the Pelicans lost was center Jahlil Okafor who signed on a two-year deal with the Pistons. 

A lot has been going on in every team’s camp during the offseason. The Pelicans have meticulously gone through with their signings to build the team around Zion and Lonzo Ball. These two will undoubtedly be pulling the strings next season along with Brandon Ingram if he signs an extension. 

Can the addition of Adams and Bledsoe prove to be worthy for the franchise? The team last qualified for the playoffs when Anthony Davis was still in New Orleans. Times have changed and the responsibility has now fallen into different hands. 

2021 New Orleans Pelicans Roster

Backcourt

Nickeil Alexander-Walker (G)

Lonzo Ball (G)

Eric Bledsoe (G)

Josh Hart (G)

Kira Lewis Jr. (G)

JJ Redick (G)

Sindarius Thornwell (G)

Frontcourt

Steven Adams (C)

Ike Anigbogu (C)

Wenyen Gabriel (F)

Jaxson Hayes (F/C)

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Willy Hernangomez (C)

Brandon Ingram (F)

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Nicolo Melli (F)

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Zion Williamson (F)

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Arjun Athreya

2141 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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