2013 NBA Free Agency: New Orleans Pelicans Aggressively Pursuing Chris Copeland?

By Ryan Heckman
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports


Things are not looking good for the New York Knicks at the moment. Not only is reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith looking to opt out of the final year of his deal, but now another free agent appears to be on his way out.

Forward Chris Copeland came out of no where this season for the Knicks, giving them extremely efficient minutes off the bench. He had an extraordinary PER of 16.89 and gave New York 8.7 points per game on 48 percent shooting.

On top of that, Copeland shot the three ball over 42 percent on the year, making at least one every game on average. His value, all of the sudden, is on the rise at 29 years old.

One of the teams the second year pro could be headed to is the New Orleans Pelicans. There has been very serious interest in the free agent forward from New Orleans,

According to the New York Post, the Pelicans are going to make a “strong bid that will blow Knicks owner James Dolan out of the water.”

Copeland has said himself he prefers to stay in New York. Being a restricted free agent, the Knicks have the ability to match any offer made by another team up to $3.1 million. By the looks of it, the Pelicans are aware of that number and look to surpass it by a significant margin.

Copeland would be a nice addition to the Pelicans who need some help at forward with Al-Farouq Aminu entering the free agent pool in July as well. They definitely need another scorer at the position aside from Ryan Anderson, and Copeland would fit the mold.

Like I’ve said before, the Knicks could be looking at a completely different roster next season without Copeland, Smith and possibly Kenyon Martin. Copeland would be a highly underrated loss, though, at the Pelicans’ gain.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for RantSports.com also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman“Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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