Archive for the ‘ New Orleans Pelicans Blog ’ Category

Pelicans sign Jahlil Okafor

Pelicans sign Jahlil Okafor

Jahlil Okafor’s quest to find his place in the NBA will continue, now in New Orleans.

The Pelicans signed Okafor, a free agent center, today. According to ESPN.com, “a source told ESPN that Okafor’s deal includes a partial guarantee for the 2018-19 season and a team option for the following season.”

Okafor, 6-11, 275, played last season with the Philadelphia 76ers (two games) and Brooklyn Nets (26 games), averaging 6.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 12.6 minutes per contest.

Originally selected with the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft out of Duke University, Okafor has appeared in 131 career regular season games (81 starts) with Philadelphia and Brooklyn, holding career averages of 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks in 23.5 minutes per game.

CBS Sports had this to say about the signing: “The Pelicans’ big men that they’ll certainly be keeping in rotation next season now include Anthony Davis, Julius Randle and Nikola Mirotic. Last season, each of those three players averaged over 12 percent of their points on the fast break. For Davis, it was 12.7 percent. For Mirotic, 14.6 percent. And for newcomer Randle, 16.8 percent with the Lakers. The Pelicans as a whole led the league in pace last season, according to NBA Stats, and their pace only increased after DeMarcus Cousins went down just before the All-Star Break. After Cousins’ injury, they led the NBA in percentage of points scored in transition at 17.7 percent.”

Pelicans sign forward Troy Williams

Pelicans sign forward Troy Williams

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed free agent forward Troy Williams.

Williams, 6-7, 220, was a member of the New York Knicks’ 2018 Summer League team, appearing in five contests and averaging 11.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20.6 minutes per game.

During the 2017-18 season, Williams appeared in 21 contests for the Knicks and the Houston Rockets, averaging 6.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game. He also played in 19 games (17 starts) last season for Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League, averaging 19.8 points while shooting 46.4% from the field, 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 29.1 minutes per game.

Originally undrafted in 2016 out of Indiana University, Williams has appeared in 51 career regular season games for Memphis, Houston and New York, holding averages of 6.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 16.9 minutes per game.

Pelicans sign Trevon Bluiett to two-way contract

The New Orleans Pelicans today signed guard Trevon Bluiett to a two-way contract.

Bluiett, 6-5, 215, joined the Pelicans’ Summer League team after going undrafted out of Xavier (OH) in 2018. In four Summer League games, Bluiett averaged 18.3 points on .565 shooting from the field, including .536 from three-point range. In his first two outings at the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018 in Las Vegas, Bluiett scored 24 and 26 points, respectively, while connecting on six three-pointers in each contest.

In 142 collegiate games at Xavier, the Indianapolis native averaged 15.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists. During his senior season, Bluiett averaged 19.3 points while shooting .417 from three-point range on his way to being named to the All-Big East First Team for the third consecutive season, as well as a Consensus Second-Team All-American.

Per NBA rules, each team is allowed to carry two players on two-way contracts in addition to the standard 15 players on the roster. Players signed to two-way contracts will spend the majority of the year in the NBA G League, but can be called up to their NBA team for a maximum of 45 days during the season.

Pelicans re-sign Ian Clark

Pelicans re-sign Ian Clark

The New Orleans Pelicans have re-signed guard Ian Clark.

Clark, 6-3, 175, appeared in 74 games with New Orleans during the 2017-18 regular season and averaged 7.4 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 19.7 minutes per game. After the All-Star break, Clark averaged 11.0 points while shooting .488 from the field and .368 from three-point range, 2.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game. Clark additionally appeared in nine postseason games, averaging 7.8 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists while shooting .424 from the floor, including .357 from three-point range.

Undrafted out of Belmont University in 2013, Clark has appeared in 270 career regular season games with Utah, Denver, Golden State and New Orleans, holding career averages of 5.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 13.1 minutes per game. Additionally, Clark has appeared in 41 career postseason contests, averaging 6.0 points while shooting .475 from the field and .354 from three-point range, 1.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 13.7 minutes per game.

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed forward Julius Randle and guard Elfrid Payton.

Randle’s contract is reportedly a two-year, $18 million deal. And Payton’s contract is reportedly a one-year deal.

Payton wasn’t really thought of as a long-term part of the Magic. He hasn’t yet proven if he’s worthy of starting on a good team vs being a bench contributor. He definitely belongs in almost any team’s backcourt rotation. And should presumably continue to improve.

Randle was thought of as a long-term part of the Lakers’ future. At least until the emergence of Kyle Kuzma, the signing of LeBron James, and the need for salary cap flexibility. Randle probably wanted a serious long-term contract from the Lakers. But this isn’t the right time for them to commit to that. They would have liked to keep him. But business is business, and right now the Lakers’ business is making roster moves devoted to getting some stars around LeBron James by next offseason.

Payton, 6-4, 185, played last season with the Orlando Magic (44 games) and Phoenix Suns (19 games), averaging 12.7 points, 6.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 28.7 minutes per contest. In 300 career NBA regular season games with Orlando and Phoenix, Payton has averaged 11.2 points, 6.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 29.5 minutes per game.

A native of Gretna, La., Payton starred at John Ehret High School before playing collegiately at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. After a three-year collegiate career where he was a two-time member of the First-Team All-Sun Belt and the 2014 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, Payton was selected 10th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by Philadelphia before being acquired by Orlando in a draft night trade.

Randle, 6-9, 250, had previously spent his entire four-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers after being selected seventh overall in the 2014 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky. This past season, Randle appeared in all 82 regular season games for the Lakers, averaging a career-high 16.1 points on a career-high .558 shooting from the field to go with 8.0 rebounds – including 2.2 on the offensive end – and 2.6 assists in 26.7 minutes per game.

In 238 career regular season games (182 starts), Randle holds career averages of 13.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 27.8 minutes per game

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The New Orleans Pelicans and Head Coach Alvin Gentry have agreed to a contract extension. Gentry, the Pelicans’ head coach since 2015, will now be under contract through the 2020-21 season.

Gentry in 2017-18 led the Pelicans to one of the best seasons in team history, finishing the regular season with a 48-34 record and advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals for just the second time in franchise history. The 48 regular season wins were the third highest total in franchise history.

And team success continued in the postseason, as the Pelicans swept the Trail Blazers in four games during the first round, and in doing so became first team seeded sixth or lower to sweep a first-round playoff series since the 2001 Charlotte Hornets.

The Pelicans saw a 14-win increase in 2017-18 over their 2016-17 win total, the largest jump in the Western Conference, and the second largest in the NBA behind Philadelphia (24 games).

“I am extremely thankful to Mrs. Benson and the Pelicans organization for their support and confidence in my abilities to lead this team,” said Gentry. “Since day one, they have treated me like family and have provided us with the necessary resources to compete at the highest level. Mrs. Benson has been incredibly supportive of our coaching staff and players, and I couldn’t be happier to work for such an exceptional owner. I am excited for the great opportunities that are ahead for our organization and the City of New Orleans.”

Over 246 games as Pelicans head coach, Gentry has a record of 112-134 (.455).

Draymond Green crashes Pelicans huddle

The Warriors have eliminated the Pelicans in five games. During Game 5 last night, GS forward Draymond Green successfully eavesdropped on a Pelicans huddle and mostly got away with it. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News reporting:

Draymond Green revealed a bit of his silly side on Tuesday.

In the first quarter of the Warriors’ 113-104 win over New Orleans, he took a break from jawing with Rajon Rondo and firing up his team to engage in some levity.

As Pelicans’ coach Alvin Gentry gave instructions to Rondo, Green walked over and joined their huddle — until a referee yanked him away.

“I saw the play,” Green said. “They were watching something of us. It was good.”

Full article

DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis as a frontcourt duo. Big names to have alongside each other. Then Cousins got hurt. His season was over. Yet the Pelicans stayed strong and made the playoffs. And have looked just fine. Here’s The Advocate reporting:

As DeMarcus Cousins reached at his torn Achilles, roiling in pain, many in the basketball world erased the New Orleans Pelicans from playoff contention.

Nearly three months later, those same Pelicans unleashed their refurbished brand to seal up the third-best record in franchise history. They won five consecutive games to finish the regular season, including a road victory over the reigning champion Golden State Warriors before blowing out the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs to achieve the team’s best Western Conference finish since 2008-09.

Revamped. Revitalized. Renewed.

Those three words sum up the whirlwind renovation New Orleans underwent, piecing together a 21-13 record in the wake of Cousins’ devastating injury. An increased reliance on pace and defensive versatility allowed the Pelicans to earn a tie for the West’s fourth-best record, the No. 6 seed and a first-round matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Full article

Pelicans sign Jordan Crawford

The New Orleans Pelicans today signed guard Jordan Crawford.

Crawford, 6-4, 195, has appeared in 21 games with New Orleans over the past two seasons, averaging 13.6 points, 3.1 assists, and 1.8 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per contest. Crawford appeared in two games with the Pelicans this season, averaging 9.0 points, 4.5 assists, and 1.5 rebounds in 18.5 minutes of action before being waived on October 21.

Drafted 27th overall in 2010 by New Jersey, Crawford has appeared in 278 career regular season games with Atlanta, Washington, Boston, Golden State and New Orleans, averaging 12.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 24.6 minutes per contest.

Crawford will wear #27 for the Pelicans. New Orleans’s roster stands at 16, including one two-way player (Charles Cooke).

It doesn’t take a long glance at the standings to know what’s on the line.

No, it’s not quite do-or-die, but it’s awful close.

The New Orleans Pelicans matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder is the most important game of the season to date, and if the past two months of jockeying felt urgent, Game 77 of the season might as well be Game 7 in the playoffs.

At 5 p.m. Sunday in the Smoothie King Center, the stakes are clear.

A win would not only leapfrog the eighth-placed Pelicans ahead of the Thunder in the standings, it would provide the added advantage of jumping a team who it holds a tiebreaker advantage against. Currently, New Orleans owns the tiebreaker against none of its peers in the Western Conference jumble.

The Advocate

Frank Jackson, the New Orleans Pelicans rookie guard whose draft rights were acquired from the Charlotte Hornets in the 2017 NBA Draft, will miss the entirety of his rookie season, coach Alvin Gentry said Saturday.

Jackson underwent surgery on his right foot Sept. 1 and was originally expected to return around January, a 3-4 month recovery. However, complications with his rehab delayed his return months beyond predicted.

The 19-year-old Duke product also underwent a procedure last May to correct a stress reaction in the same location. Jackson has missed all 68 games this season.

The Advocate

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed free agent guard Larry Drew II to a 10-day contract.

Drew, 6-2, 180, has appeared in 35 games this season for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G League, posting averages of 11.8 points while shooting .401 from three-point range, 7.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals. Drew was also a member of the United States National Team that took home the gold medal at the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup.

Undrafted in 2013 out of UCLA, Drew has appeared in 15 career NBA games for Philadelphia, holding averages of 3.2 points, 3.1 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per contest. Additionally, Drew was a member of the Pelicans’ 2015 NBA Summer League Team in Las Vegas, where he earned All-NBA Summer League Second Team honors.

Drew will wear #1 for the Pelicans and be available for their game tonight in San Antonio. New Orleans’ roster currently stands at 16, including on two-way player (Charles Cooke).

The Pelicans signed guard Walter Lemon, Jr. to a second 10-day contract today.

Lemon, Jr., 6-3, 180, who was originally signed on Feb. 21, has appeared in three games for New Orleans, averaging 1.3 points in 4.7 minutes per contest.

New Orleans’ roster currently stands at 16, including one two-way player (Charles Cooke).

Pelicans sign Emeka Okafor for remainder of season

The New Orleans Pelicans today signed forward/center Emeka Okafor for the remainder of the season.

Okafor, 6-10, 252, who was originally signed to the first of two 10-day contracts by New Orleans on Feb. 3, has appeared in six games, including four starts, for the Pelicans, averaging 3.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 16.2 minutes per contest.

New Orleans’ roster stands at 16, including one two-way player (Charles Cooke).

The New Orleans Pelicans today signed free agent guard Walter Lemon Jr. to a 10-day contract.

Lemon, Jr., 6-3, 180, has appeared in 36 games this season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA G League, posting averages of 22.7 points while shooting .495 from the field, 4.6 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.1 steals.

Undrafted out of Bradley University of 2014, Lemon, Jr. has also played internationally in Hungary, Germany, Turkey and Greece.

Lemon, Jr. will wear #25 for the Pelicans.

New Orleans’ roster stands at 16, including one two-way player (Charles Cooke).

Pelicans sign Emeka Okafor to second 10-day contract

The New Orleans Pelicans today signed forward/center Emeka Okafor to a second 10-day contract.

Okafor, 6-10, 252, who was originally signed to a 10-day contract by New Orleans on Feb. 3, has appeared in three games, including one start, for the Pelicans, averaging 5.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 14.3 minutes per contest.

New Orleans’ roster stands at 15, including one two-way player (Charles Cooke).

The New Orleans Pelicans have waived guards Mike James and Rashad Vaughn.

James, 6-1, 189, who was originally signed to a two-way contract by the Pelicans on January 14, appeared in four games with New Orleans, totaling four points and six assists in 18 minutes.

Vaughn, 6-6, 202, who was acquired from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for forward Dante Cunningham on February 8, did not appear in any games for New Orleans.

New Orleans’ roster currently stands at 15, including one two-way player (Charles Cooke).

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired forward Dante Cunningham from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Rashad Vaughn.

Cunningham (6’8”, 230), currently in his ninth NBA season, has played in 51 games (24 starts) for the Pelicans this season, posting averages of 5.0 points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game. Selected out of Villanova University by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 33rd overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Cunningham holds career NBA averages of 6.0 points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per contest in 629 games with Portland, Charlotte, Memphis, Minnesota and New Orleans.

Vaughn appeared in one game for Brooklyn after being acquired on Feb. 5 from Milwaukee.

Pelicans sign DeAndre Liggins

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed guard DeAndre Liggins.

Liggins, 6-6, 209, who was signed to two 10-day contracts by the Pelicans in January, has appeared in four games this season for New Orleans, averaging 4.3 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 12.8 minutes per contest.

Liggins will be available for the Pelicans’ game tonight against Utah at the Smoothie King Center. New Orleans’ roster currently stands at 17, including two two-way players (Charles Cooke and Mike James).

Bulls trade Nikola Mirotic to Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans have acquired forward Nikola Mirotić (KNEE-coal-uh MIR-oh-tich) and a 2018 second-round pick from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for center Omer Asik, guards Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson, and a 2018 first-round draft pick. In addition, Chicago will have the right to swap its 2021 second-round pick with New Orleans’ own 2021 second-round pick.

Mirotić, 6-10, 220, has appeared in 25 games this season for the Bulls, posting averages of 16.8 points, while shooting .429 from three-point range, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 24.9 minutes. Originally drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Montenegro native has appeared in 243 career regular season games for Chicago, averaging 11.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 23.0 minutes per game.

Asik, 7-0, 255, has appeared in 14 games this season for New Orleans, averaging 1.3 points and 2.6 rebounds. Originally acquired by the Pelicans in the summer of 2014, Asik has appeared in 189 regular season games for New Orleans, averaging 4.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per contest.

Allen, 6-4, 231, who was signed this past summer by New Orleans, has appeared in 22 games this season for the Pelicans, averaging 4.7 points and 2.1 rebounds.

Nelson, 6-0, 190, who was originally signed by the Pelicans in October, appeared in 43 games for New Orleans, posting averages of 5.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

Mirotić will wear #3 for the Pelicans. New Orleans’ roster now stands at 15, including two two-way players (Charles Cooke and Mike James).

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