Pelicans’ Randle to decline player option, enter free agency

Big man Julius Randle opted out of his contract and became an unrestricted free agent before agreeing to a deal with the Knicks.

New Orleans Pelicans big man Julius Randle intends to decline his player option and enter free agency, according to Shams Charania of Stadium.

Randle is coming off an excellent season, his first with the Pelicans. The news comes a day after the report of the Pelicans’ trade of star big man Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers (for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks).

Randle averaged 21.4 points and 8.7 rebounds this past season.

He would have made just more than $9 million in 2019-20. The Pelicans are likely to try to re-sign him to a larger deal, but others are certain to pursue him as well.

The Pelicans own the No. 1 overall draft pick and are widely expected to Duke forward Zion Williamson. They will also receive the fourth overall pick from the Lakers in the Davis trade.