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A Former Kentucky Star Is Opting Out Of His Contract To Become A Free Agent

A closeup of Julius Randle on the court for the Pelicans.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 19: Julius Randle #30 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during the second half against the Sacramento Kings at the Smoothie King Center on October 19, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

New Orleans Pelicans forward Julius Randle is coming off perhaps his best season as a pro, and is poised for a big payday this season. However, it looks like that payday likely won't come with the Pelicans.

According to NBA insider Shams Charania, Randle will not pick up his $9 million player option and will enter unrestricted free agency. The report comes just two days after the Pelicans reportedly acquired three of Randle's former Los Angeles Lakers teammates in a trade for Anthony Davis.

Last year Randle signed a two-year, $18 million contract with the Pelicans and rewarded them with a career-high 21.4 points per game. He also posted career-highs in three-point percentage and free throw percentage.

However, his strong season was not enough to lift the Pelicans into the playoffs as they finished 33-49.

Fortunately for the Pelicans, they managed to win the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft lottery. They are expected to draft Duke megastar Zion Williamson.

New Orleans also acquired Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram in a weekend trade for Anthony Davis, giving them plenty of young building blocks moving forward.

The Pelicans may be on the verge of building something special. We'll see if that includes pay Randle to stick around.