The New Orleans Pelicans have underachieved this season, despite having the services of a former All-Star in Brandon Ingram, and a player who looks to be a future superstar in Zion Williamson. Despite being expected by some to make the playoffs this seasons, the Pelicans didn't even manage to make it to the play-in tournament.
It seems as though we've heard a lot of rumors about expansion, but relocation is also a possibility for teams. We've seen teams relocate throughout NBA history, and it could potentially happen again. Recently, it was reported by John Hollinger that sources in the NBA view the Pelicans as a team that is likely to relocate within the next decade.
Speaking of which, “this market” is the third issue. While the Pelicans benefit from being able to share some resources with the NFL’s Saints (Benson owns both teams), this is not a market that does gangbusters financially. With the team only committed to its lease in The Big Easy through 2024, sources consistently mention New Orleans as the most likely team to seek relocation in the coming decade. To be clear, Benson is deeply connected to New Orleans and not currently seeking to sell, but losing money while finishing in the lottery has not been an enjoyable side venture to the main business of running the Saints.
There is no doubt that a bigger market would offer more opportunities, though it isn't like a small market cannot be a good team. While the possibility of relocation is far from certain, there seems to be a chance of it happening.