Free agent signings that will help San Antonio Spurs’ rivals:
4. Pelicans lock in Herb Jones
The Pelicans made a surprise move ahead of free agency as they declined Herb Jones’ $1.8 million team option to make him a restricted free agent this summer. That set his maximum contract at $54 million over the next four years, which is the deal they worked out.
The Pelicans did not want to risk Jones landing offering a massive contract offer in the summer of 2024 that New Orleans could not match.
The 24-year-old is an elite defender, who can guard all five positions. Spurs fans may remember Jones going off for 12 points on five of seven shooting with five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks to eliminate San Antonio from the 2022 Play-In Tournament. The 6’8 forward was all over the floor and will remain a key piece for the Pelicans over the next four years.
New Orleans has a ton of exciting young talent, so locking in Herb Jones long-term was massive as they continue to build out their roster. If the Pelicans can keep Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram healthy, they will be one of the feared teams in the Western Conference next season, but that is a gigantic if after they played a combined 74 in 2023.