Pelicans Sign Julius Randle

JULY 9: The Pelicans have officially signed Randle, per the NBA’s transactions log. The team’s new deal with Ian Clark has also been finalized, according to the league’s list of official transactions.

JULY 2: The Pelicans have reached an agreement with Lakers free agent forward Julius Randle on a two-year, $18MM contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The second year will be a player option, Wojnarowski adds.

The acquisition of Randle would strongly suggest that the Pelicans are not confident in re-signing DeMarcus Cousins. At the very least, adding Randle would give them some insurance if Cousins signs elsewhere. Not only does New Orleans already have superstar Anthony Davis up front but also Nikola Mirotic, who was acquired from the Bulls and jumped into the starting lineup with Cousins sidelined by a season-ending Achilles injury.

Davis was instrumental in recruiting Randle to New Orleans, according to another Wojnarowski tweet. Randle had his rights renounced by Los Angeles per his request earlier on Monday, making him an unrestricted free agent. The Pelicans ironically lost free agent point guard Rajon Rondo to the Lakers shortly before the news of Randle’s agreement broke.

Randle’s opt-out will give him the opportunity to explore the free agent market once again next summer. Randle, a former seventh overall pick, averaged 16.1 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.6 APG, and a .558 FG% in 26.7 minutes per game last season.

The Pelicans, meanwhile, may be poised to replace Cousins with Randle and Rondo with Elfrid Payton, who reached an agreement with the team on Sunday. The terms of the two deals strongly suggest that New Orleans will use its mid-level exception to sign Randle and its bi-annual exception to bring Payton aboard.

A two-year signing using the non-taxpayer mid-level exception would be worth about $17.7MM, which matches up with Randle’s reported $18MM agreement. The bi-annual exception is worth $3.382MM and would accommodate Payton’s reported $2.7MM salary.

Using either exception would hard-cap the Pelicans at $129.82MM for the 2018/19 league year, so while they could go over the cap to re-sign Cousins, their team salary would have to stay below that $129.82MM threshold. Taking into account Randle’s and Payton’s reported agreements, the Pelicans are at approximately $104MM in guaranteed salary for nine players. That total doesn’t include Cousins or non-guaranteed players like Darius Miller ($2.2MM).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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51 thoughts on “Pelicans Sign Julius Randle

      • stug14

        Randle’s release with a stretch provision for Deng they get to 19 mil I think.

    • Johnny h

      Maybe people forget this, but the Pelicans peaked at the end of last season. Mirotic was awesome for them, and Holiday was playing like an all-star. Adding Randle is a great move. He fits what they were doing: take the ball off the rim and go, shoot fast, rely on Jrue and Davis to score in the halfcourt. Obviously they are at least one star away from being real contender, but it was clear Cousins didn’t move the needle for them like that anyway. If they max out Cousins and he gets hurt again it gets fat, (distinct possibility) they’d be absolutely stuck.

      • cakirby

        Haha I don’t think anybody expected Boogie to go the “screw the money, I just want a chip” route

  1. Thronson5

    This has to mean Cousins is gone from the Pelican and is coming to the Lakers. Had to be. If so I love it! If not I hate it lol. I love Randle. Have been a fan of his since we drafted him and I’ve watched the guy get better and have watched him really step his game up. One of the few guys on the team that wanted the ball and played with passion. Wish him nothing but the best! I really hope we are getting Cousins now

    • Chris

      Agreed. Really wanted to what Randle could do with the new talent but seemed to be some kind of disconnect with him and management

    • daniellakers

      Agree 100%. Let’s see what goes down right now. It would be good to get rid of Deng. 18M would give the Lakers an additional advantage in this FA.

    • sasha2063

      100% agree. If Cousins not coming this way, will be very disappointed. Also love Randles game.

    • imindless

      Cant play d, cant shoot, tweaner overmatch with speed from smaller players bullied by bigs. Wish him the best but we onto better things.

  2. greg1

    Got to be the end of Boogie in NO, not sure if he ends up with the Lakers now that they’ve thrown around most of their money on guys who don’t make any sense for their team (Rondo, Lance).

      • Johnny h

        Probably safe to say the Lakers aren’t done making moves. Rondo is a great add, though. Was awesome for most of last year and he’s a vet LeBron will trust.

    • Chris

      How does having one of the better all around passers in the game not help Lonzo’s development. KCP, Hart, Ingram, and Kuzma are all above average 3 point shooters that can also get to the rim giving Zo, Bron, and Rondo options. Plus 1 year deal means trade bait if he’s not playing much.

  3. Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    That was fast, i would thinking maybe with the Sixers. Oh well

  4. theking24

    Wow, Randle’s agent sucks, also the same agent for Paul George and D-ali

  5. daniellakers

    As a Lakers fan, this one really hurt me… I remember always wanting Julius on the team. I loved him in college. But sometimes to get better we have to give up some nice pieces. This also can mean Cousins might not resign with the Pelicans. I’m not seeing Randle signing a deal to come off the bench.

  6. formerlyz

    The fit here is weird to me. They need wing help. Surprised Brooklyn wasnt more involved. This looks like it will be Cousins to the Lakers on a 1+1 deal as expected

  7. If this is a MLE contract (which is not quite 18 mm), then the Pels still hold Cousins’ Bird Rights.

    • diller79

      If so the Pels would struggle to find minutes for Randle with Boogie and AD on the floor as the 2 big men(randle would be odd man out and see limited minutes)

    • x%sure

      I would have thought Randle would do better than an MLE.
      Lose Rondo, gain Randle… NOP not better

      • hiflew

        They lost Rondo and gained Randle AND Payton. better. Especially since even if Cousins re-signs, you have no idea how many games he can play. Payton, Holiday. Randle, Mirotic, Davis is pretty good. Payton, Holiday, Mirotic, Davis, Cousins with Randle as 6th man is even better.

      • Agreed, not better this year any way. I don’t know if it was the MLE, but the full MLE is about the same as the max cap space NOP could open up even renouncing everyone and terminating all NGCs. If they were going to use the full MLE, then why not sign Rondo with it (9 mm vs 8.65 mm can’t be the reason Rondo went to LA).

      • Johnny h

        Looks like he took 1/9 to try again next summer when more teams have cap space. It’s smart. He’s got the player option so he’s basically guaranteed 2/18 if something goes bad here.

  8. justinkm19

    The Pelicans will be better with Randle than they were with Boogie, even without Rondo

    • x%sure

      Pels went after it with such pace late in the year. Brits used to call it “cut and thrust” before they went soft. Randle may be up to the pace and good with it, but Rondo is not there to drive it.

      • x%sure

        I add on july8 that signing Ian Clark helps with the Rondo deficit, although neither Clark nor Payton can push the ball into traffic like Rondo could.

  9. imindless

    Really low aav, he might have missed his chance to secure the bag when dallas pulled out. Needs a jump shoot or he will bounce around this league for awhile.

      • imindless

        9 mill for a guy that can only bang inside and is turnover prone? I’ll pass just hope we can get a big like boogie or lopez back. We shall see!

      • Chris

        Yeah Julius was great last year when he moved to the starting line up but that may be his peak. If he never gets a jumper I don’t see how his ceiling can be much higher. Still I loved him since his Kentucky days and loved him as a Laker. Hopefully this means we either get cousins or Lopez returns

        • Johnny h

          The team played its best without Cousins tho. Why would you be anxious to max out a guy coming off Achilles surgery?

    • formerlyz

      He needs to improve defensively and using his right hand, as well as the jumpshot. If he does those things, he can be a really, really good player. I liked watching him in college. He is a beast

  10. Jason kapono

    Shitty to see him go for 9m / year, but it has been reported he wanted a bigger role. clearly, that appears to be the case and money wasn’t the motivating factor.

  11. cesc

    Definitely NOLA is doing great business with Payton & JR, getting young with guys that have a lot to prove, is looking good. Funny how people say JR might have reached his ceiling, ain’t gonna get better… well why does he have to? He is UNBELIEVABLY good for a guy at 9/MM ( a billion times better than FVV or Gay, just to mention a couple recent signings) anyway my point is that playing around or just over 30 minutes as a starter he can easily post 19/9.5/3… so isn’t that good enough? How many PF in this league do that? Can only think of AD & K-Love.

  12. I read the Celtics signed Kyrie Irving with the “Rose rule”, and you can only sign 1 player per team with the rule. Said the Celtics wouldn’t be able to trade for Anthony Davis because of it. Do you know what the Rose rule is?

    • Luke Adams

      It’s the rule that allows players coming off their rookie contracts to get bigger-than-usual extensions if they meet certain criteria (named after Derrick Rose because he won the MVP during his rookie contract). We have a more in-depth explanation in our glossary section.

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