Stanley Johnson could have multiple options this summer.
“Several teams” are interested in signing the 23-year-old wing, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites unidentified league sources. Johnson is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the Pelicans declined to extend him a qualifying offer, the report says.
Sources: The Pelicans have declined to extend a qualifying offer to forward Stanley Johnson, making him an unrestricted free agent. Johnson, 23, is a strong defender and will receive interest from several teams. Allows Pelicans to now have upwards of $28M in open space.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 27, 2019
Johnson began the season with the Pistons but ended up with the Pelicans before the trade deadline.
Johnson, a strong wing defender, averaged 6.9 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting just 28.8% from 3-point range in 66 total games in 2018-19. Detroit originally selected him out of Arizona with the eighth pick in the 2015 draft.
“What I do individually, it all has to result in winning,” Johnson said in February, via NOLA.com. “I’m not trying to prove a point about me.”
The Pelicans, meanwhile, have already undergone a major roster overhaul this offseason. They completed one of the biggest trades in NBA history earlier this month when they sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks.
New Orleans also took former Duke star Zion Williamson with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft last week.
“(Williamson) is not somebody who is supposed to be the savior of this franchise,” New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin told reporters after the draft. “That’s not what this is. This is a 19-year-old kid who’s going to spend this year learning how to play winning NBA basketball.”
The Pelicans also added Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Marcos Louzada Silva in the draft and have been linked to Al Horford as well as Tobias Harris.
New Orleans also did not extend a qualifying offer to Cheick Diallo, who averaged 5.5 points in 133 games over three seasons with the team, according to ESPN.