Anthony Davis Actively Recruited Julius Randle to Join Pelicans

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 22:  Julius Randle #30 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans are seen during the game on March 22, 2018 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

Anthony Davis played a significant role in the New Orleans Pelicans' signing of forward Julius Randle in free agency.

According to Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com, Randle said he reached out to Davis to gather information about the organization while weighing his free-agent decision.

Randle added that Davis called him three times after the initial conversation to "try to cement Randle's decision" to join the Pels.

After the Los Angeles Lakers renounced Randle's rights amid a significant roster shake-up, the Pelicans signed him to a two-year, $18 million contract.

New Orleans will look to Randle to help replace DeMarcus Cousins alongside Davis.

Cousins, who tore his Achilles in January, signed a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors in free agency.

The 23-year-old Randle is coming off a career season, as he averaged 16.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 55.8 percent from the field.

Power forward Nikola Mirotic was an effective player for New Orleans down the stretch last season as well after it acquired him from the Chicago Bulls to make up for the loss of Cousins.

With Davis, Randle and Mirotic in the fold, the Pelicans boast one of the NBA's deepest and most talented frontcourts.

Making noise in a Western Conference that boasts the Warriors, Houston Rockets and revamped Lakers won't be easy, but the Pelicans are coming off a season in which they reached the second round of the playoffs.

If Randle continues to improve at his current rate, then New Orleans will be a force to be reckoned with, especially with an MVP candidate in Davis to lead the way.

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