The New Orleans Hornets are expected to become the Pelicans as early as the 2013-14 season, numerous sources told Yahoo! Sports.

A change of the nickname has been expected since Tom Benson purchased the team.

Benson owns the rights to the nickname Pelicans. Louisiana is known as the Pelican State.

The Hornets also considered the nicknames Krewe (groups of costumed paraders in the annual Mardi Gras carnival in New Orleans) and Brass.

With the Hornets abandoning their nickname, the Charlotte Bobcats can possibly change their name.

A Hornets' spokesman denied that a change to the Pelicans was final.

"We’re not confirming that is the name,’’ Greg Bensel said. "This is a process that’s ongoing and still in discussions. And it will be eventually decided by the NBA.’’