It's essentially true. He'd be taking so much less money to sign somewhere else. There's a reason almost no superstar leaves their original team before 7 years
Ya, that was my understanding.
Don't we have his "bird rights", and he stands to make significantly more money by signing his first big contract with the Pelicans?
I may be wrong about that, or the rules could have changed.
...also, we can offer him a big extension before his free agency even becomes an issue, like OKC did with Durant. He will take the money, especially if we have a decent team next season...no reason not to be optimistic about that.