Adam Silver still has time to prepare the opening 2024 NBA Draft speech but the league's teams are out of planning time for the NBA Free Agency frenzy. Dominoes are starting to fall with Pascal Siakam (Indiana Pacers) and Malik Monk (Sacramento Kings) having already agreed to deals with their former teams. The New Orleans Pelicans can negotiate with their impeding free agents but a big priority this offseason is finding a point guard.

The Pelicans are facing a stress test of their own making due to sticking with a status quo roster last summer. Jose Alvarado and Dyson Daniels are the only pure point guards on the roster. The 20-year-old Daniels is near-elite on defense already but is still learning the nuances of running an NBA offense. Alvarado is pesky and energetic but has offensive limits. Zion Williamson still needs help initiating the half-court offense. Defenses build walls that leave bruises but do not always draw foul calls.

The Pelicans need variety in how the two-time All-Star gets to the rim. Thankfully, there are a few reasonably affordable options in free agency.

Pelicans kick tires on Tyus Jones

Washington Wizards guard Tyus Jones (5) passes the ball against New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) during the first half at Smoothie King Center.
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Tyus Jones averaged 12 points and 7.3 assists while shooting 48.9% from the field and 41.4% from three-point range in almost 30 minutes per game. That would be an upgrade when compared to Dyson Daniels and Jose Alvarado combined.

Jones got a star turn leading Memphis to a 205 record in place of Ja Morant. The 28-year-old led the league in assists to turnover ratio leader in the 2019–20 season and 2020–21 seasons while with the Memphis Grizzlies. Jones set a record in the 2021–22 with a 7.04 assist-to-turnover ratio, breaking his previous record in the process. Last season's 1.0 turnover per game was actually the worst mark of his career.

The Pelicans might not do better than that in free agency. The biggest ‘name' they've gotten this decade was JJ Redick. New Orleans would have to start the offer at a full Mid-Level Exception ($12.9 million) and hope Jones did not get a better offer from a contender. It is doubtful Jones wants to spend another year languishing with a lottery team.

Making a call to Markelle Fultz

Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) dribbles as New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) defends during the second quarter at Amway Center.
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Markelle Fultz, the former No. 1 overall pick, has had a tumultuous journey in the NBA. From his early struggles with the Philadelphia 76ers to his resurgence with the Orlando Magic, Fultz has shown glimpses of his potential. As he enters free agency this summer, several factors make him an intriguing acquisition for any NBA team looking for a reclamation project.

There is plenty of untapped potential to invest in and there could be a near-All-Star level return. He averaged 14 points, 5.7 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game on 51.4% shooting in the 2022-23 campaign before a few setbacks last season. Fultz is only 23 years old and his best basketball is likely ahead of him. His unique combination of size, athleticism, and playmaking ability could be a game-changer for a team willing to invest in his development.

Willie Green loves defensive versatility. The offense needs some. Fultz can play both guard positions for the Pelicans, especially during the Point Zion minutes. Fultz’s length and quickness allow him to be disruptive on defense. With the right coaching and system, he could become an elite perimeter defender. His ball-handling skills, court vision, and ability to create for teammates make him a valuable asset. Whether as a primary ball-handler or an off-ball scorer, Fultz adapts to different roles seamlessly.

Going after Fultz would be a Low-Risk, High-Reward move. He has already had to operate alongside established stars. The ability to create shots and distribute the ball could elevate any fringe contender lacking a reliable secondary playmaker. Furthermore, Fultz has shown resilience and seems to have overcome the injury setbacks mentally. His current value might not reflect his true potential, making him an affordable gamble for teams seeking upside without breaking the bank.

Monte Morris makes sense

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Monte Morris (23) during the second half at Footprint Center.
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The Minnesota Timberwolves are over the luxury tax's second apron and have ownership issues. Monte Morris is not part of their core going forward but was integral to this season's success. The Pelicans should see a six-year NBA veteran who has played a significant role as a point guard and paid enough dues to know not to disrupt the locker room's chemistry. His experience and versatility make him valuable in various lineups and situations.

Morris averaged 10.3 points per game while shooting 48% overall and 38.2% from beyond the arc last season. His efficient scoring can boost any team’s offense for years to come. A three-year deal with a player option would give more job security than any two-year offers using the league's various exceptions. His playmaking chops are playoff-ready with an average of 5.2 assists per game.

Morris is a solid playmaker who can create opportunities for teammates and facilitate ball movement. He might also agree to a contract that, if the fit does not work out, would still be a positive asset.