In their quest to make a big splash in free agency, the New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly drawing inspiration from the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns.
Per ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Pelicans president of basketball operations David Griffin is hoping to make a "huge offer" to Kyle Lowry "in an effort to import the type of leadership that Chris Paul brought to the Suns last year in morphing them into contenders."
Lowry does share some qualities with Paul that should be attractive to many teams. Both point guards still play at a high level on the court despite their relatively advanced ages, and both are lauded for their leadership qualities.
It's been previously reported that the Pelicans planned to pursue Lowry in free agency. On a recent episode of The Mismatch, The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor said New Orleans is desperate to sign the six-time All-Star.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that New Orleans was finalizing a deal to send Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, the No. 10 and 40 picks in the 2021 NBA draft and a protected 2022 first-rounder to the Memphis Grizzlies for Jonas Valanciunas and the 17th and 51st picks in the 2021 draft.
Per NBA reporter Marc Stein, that trade will open up the necessary cap space for the Pelicans to make a serious run at Lowry.
The free-agent market for Lowry looks to be robust. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat are all expected to be in the mix.
Lowry did miss 26 games last season because of injuries, but he remained highly productive when he was able to play. The 35-year-old averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting a 39.6 percent on three-pointers.
Despite having Zion Williamson make the All-Star team in his second season, the Pelicans missed the playoffs in 2020-21 after posting a 31-41 record. They haven't made the postseason since 2018.