Julius Randle Declines $9M Player Option With Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans Saturday

New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans Saturday

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, New Orleans Pelicans' Julius Randle is not picking up his $9 million player option for next season and will enter unrestricted free agency.

The Randle decision comes one day after it was revealed that New Orleans had finally agreed to trade Anthony Davis.

After years of middling performance despite having Davis, the Pelicans now have the No. 1 and 4 picks in the draft, an underrated star point guard in Jrue Holiday and a solid group of young players with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, as well as a truckload of Lakers picks going forward.

The 24-year-old had a brilliant year with the Pels last season, stepping up admirably as one of the team's premier weapons when called upon to shoulder more of the offensive load late in the season.

Dana White ranks the top heavyweight boxers
But the one thing that he's going to make certain of is that he's going to entertain while doing what he was born to do. It will also be the first time that he has fought outside of his own country.

The Pelicans signed Randle to a two-year, $18 million contract. It was Randle's first season topping 20 points per game and also his first attempting volume 3-pointers, not only tripling his previous high with 2.7 3-pointers attempted but also shooting a career-best 34.4 percent from distance. The forward has always been an efficient producer but had to prove himself with a new franchise after his role stagnated in Los Angeles.

It will be interesting to see where Randle ends up, but there figures to be plenty of interest in him.

Randle signed with New Orleans last summer only after the Lakers renounced his rights so they could go after LeBron James and other free agents.

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