New Orleans Pelicans underachieved the past season despite having an All-Star in Brandon Ingram and a potential future face of the NBA in Zion Williamson.
The Pelicans were expected to be in the mix for the playoffs, however they did not even make it to the play-in tournament.
At the top of that, it was reported by John Hollinger of the Athletic that sources in the NBA view the Pelicans as a team that is likely to relocate within the next decade.
Speaking of which, “this market” is the third issue. While the Pelicans benefit from being able to share some resources with the NFL’s Saints (Benson owns both teams), this is not a market that does gangbusters financially.
With the team only committed to its lease in The Big Easy through 2024, sources consistently mention New Orleans as the most likely team to seek relocation in the coming decade. To be clear, Benson is deeply connected to New Orleans and not currently seeking to sell, but losing money while finishing in the lottery has not been an enjoyable side venture to the main business of running the Saints.
Several small-market teams left their mark in the NBA the past seasons with franchise’s like San Antonio, Memphis and others having success in the league.