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Pelicans sign Nate Wolters to second 10-day contract

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed guard Nate Wolters to a second 10-day contract.

Wolters, 6-4, 190, South Dakota State, first signed with the Pelicans on January 14. In five games with New Orleans, Wolters has averaged 2.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 11 minutes per contest.

Wolters was the 38th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards before his rights were dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers, and then the Milwaukee Bucks. Appearing in 69 games with Milwaukee, Wolters averaged 6.4 points, 2.9 assists and 2.4 rebounds.

Jrue Holiday out 2-4 weeks with leg injury

The New Orleans Pelicans announced Wednesday that guard Jrue Holiday is expected to miss the next 2-4 weeks. Additional tests by team physicians yesterday revealed that Holiday developed a stress reaction in his right lower leg. Holiday will be held out of basketball activities until his symptoms improve and will be re-evaluated each week.

In 37 games this season, Holiday averaged 15.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 33.7 minutes per game. The 6-4 guard holds career averages of 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists in 369 contests.

The Pelicans are 21-21 this season. They’re 16th in the league in points per game, and 17th in the league in opponents’ points per game. They’re led by Anthony Davis (24.3 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.53 spg, 2.95 bpg), Tyreke Evans (17.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.3 apg), Holiday (15.2 ppg, 7.1, 1.62 spg), Ryan Anderson (14.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Eric Gordon (11.8 ppg).

Pelicans sign Nate Wolters to 10-day contract

Pelicans sign Nate Wolters to 10-day contract

The New Orleans Pelicans today added some depth in their backcourt, signing unrestricted free agent guard Nate Wolters to a 10-day contract.

The 6-4, 190-pound Wolters, of South Dakota State, was the 38th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards before his rights were traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, and then the Milwaukee Bucks. Appearing in 69 games with Milwaukee, Wolters averaged of 6.4 points, 2.9 assists and 2.4 rebounds.

Wolters will be available for tonight’s Pelicans game in Detroit. He will wear jersey #4.

New Orleans roster now stands at 14.

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has acquired forward Quincy Pondexter and a future second round draft pick from the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a three-team deal including the Boston Celtics. In exchange, New Orleans has traded guard Austin Rivers to Boston and guard Russ Smith to Memphis. As additional components of the trade, Boston has acquired forward Tayshawn Prince and a future first round draft pick from Memphis, and Memphis has acquired forward Jeff Green from Boston.

“The New Orleans Pelicans are thrilled to welcome back a high character person like Quincy Pondexter to our organization,” said Dell Demps, General Manager of the Pelicans. “Quincy is a two-way player, a multi-position defender that will add toughness along with an offensive skill set that we anticipate will help the Pelicans win games.”

“It was difficult to trade Austin Rivers and Russ Smith”, said Demps. “Russ was only with the team for a short time while Austin is an intense competitor that is continuing to improve. We will miss Austin and Russ on and off the court. We thank Austin and Russ for their contributions and wish them success in the future.”

According to Yahoo Sports, “Green gives the Grizzlies a versatile veteran who can score and defend both forward positions. He is averaging 17.6 points and 4.2 rebounds this season. Green makes $9.2 million this season and holds a player option of $9.2 million in 2015-16 – the final year of his contract. The Celtics are unloading assets – they traded forward Brandan Wright to the Phoenix Suns for a future first-round draft pick earlier Friday – and gathering assets for a rebuild. With this trade, Boston will have accumulated 11 first-round picks over the next four drafts.”

Green (6-9, 235) has averaged a career-high 17.6 points to go with 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 33.1 minutes in 33 games (all starts) with Boston this season, shooting .434 from the field, .305 from three-point range and a career-best .840 from the free throw line. He has scored 10+ points 29 times, 20+ points 10 times and 30+ points twice, including a season-high 35 points on Nov. 3 at Dallas, and has posted one double-double.

Drafted by Boston in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft and traded to the Seattle SuperSonics on draft night, Green joins Memphis with career averages of 14.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 32.8 minutes in 511 games (395 starts) with Seattle/Oklahoma City and Boston. The seven-year veteran has career shooting percentages of .440 from the field, .340 from three-point range and .788 from the free throw line. Green netted a career-high 43 points on March 18, 2013 vs. Miami.

The 28-year-old owns career postseason averages of 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 31.2 minutes in 21 playoff games (12 starts) for Oklahoma City and Boston. Green posted 20.3 points on .435 shooting (.455 three-point shooting) in six games in the Celtics’ first round series against New York in the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

A native of Hyattsville, Md., Green averaged 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 33.2 minutes in 102 games over three years (2004-07) at Georgetown University. Serving as the Hoyas’ co-captain in his junior season, Green led Georgetown to its first NCAA Final Four appearance since 1985 and was named the 2007 Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA East Regional and was selected as the 2007 Big East Player of the Year and Big East Tournament MVP.

Prince, a 6’9” forward, has appeared in 26 contests for the Grizzlies this season and is averaging 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 24.2 minutes per game, while shooting 15-33 (.455) from beyond the arc over that span. He scored a season-high 20 points, including shooting a perfect 4-4 from long range, five rebounds and two assists in 33 minutes on December 5 against the San Antonio Spurs. Prince was the starting small forward for the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in four consecutive seasons (2005-08). For his career, Prince is averaging 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 32.3 minutes per game.

Rivers, a 6’4” guard, has appeared in 35 games for the Pelicans this season and is averaging 6.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 22.1 minutes per game. He recorded a season-high of 21 points, including shooting 11-12 (.917) from the foul line, two rebounds, three assists and one steal in 33 minutes on December 20 against the Portland Trailblazers. Rivers was selected as the 10th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by New Orleans and is averaging 6.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 21.4 minutes per game for his career.

Pondexter, 6-6, 225, Washington, appeared in 30 games this season with Memphis, holding averages of 4.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. This will be Pondexter’s second stint with New Orleans, as he spent his rookie season with the franchise during the 2010-11 season, appearing in 66 games and averaging 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds. In his five seasons, Pondexter holds career averages of 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 234 games.

Smith, 6-0, 165, Louisville, was acquired by New Orleans in a draft night trade this past June after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 47th overall pick. The rookie guard appeared in six games this season for the Pelicans, averaging 0.8 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.3 assists.

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has assigned rookie point guard Russ Smith to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League. This will be Smith’s third assignment of the season.

In his most recent assignment, Smith, 6-0, 185, appeared in four games for Fort Wayne, averaging 17.5 points, and 7.8 assists. Overall, Smith has appeared in six games with Fort Wayne, averaging 16.5 points, 6.2 assists and 1.8 steals.

Smith has appeared in six games for New Orleans, averaging 0.8 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.3 assists per game. Smith appeared in six preseason contests for the Pelicans, averaging 5.0 points, 1.2 assists and 0.8 rebounds.

Drafted out of the University of Louisville by Philadelphia with the 47th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, Smith was acquired by New Orleans in a draft night trade.

Hornets assign Noah Vonleh to D-League

Hornets assign Noah Vonleh to D-League

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has assigned forward Noah Vonleh to its NBA D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

“We believe Noah would benefit greatly from additional game experience,” Cho said. “He will be able to get that playing time through this D-League assignment.”

Vonleh was selected by the Hornets with the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The 6-10 rookie has appeared in four games this season, with averages of 2.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 8.0 minutes.

Pelicans waive Gal Mekel

Pelicans waive Gal Mekel

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has waived point guard Gal Mekel.

Mekel, 6-3, 191, was signed by the team on December 5 as an unrestricted free agent. Mekel appeared in four games with New Orleans, averaging 1.5 points and 3.3 assists.

The Wichita State product appeared in 31 games during the 2013-14 season for the Dallas Mavericks and appeared in all eight of Dallas’ 2014 preseason games.

New Orleans’ roster now stands at 14.

Pelicans assign Russ Smith to D-League

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has assigned rookie point guard Russ Smith to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League.

Smith, 6-0, 185, has appeared in two games for Fort Wayne, averaging 14.5 points and 3.0 steals in 25.5 minutes per game.

Smith has appeared in three games for New Orleans, averaging 0.3 rebounds per game. Smith appeared in six preseason contests for the Pelicans, averaging 5.0 points, 1.2 assists and 0.8 rebounds.

Drafted out of the University of Louisville by Philadelphia with the 47th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, Smith was acquired by New Orleans in a draft night trade.

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has recalled rookie point guard Russ Smith from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League.

Smith, 6-0, 185, appeared in two games over the weekend for Fort Wayne, helping the Mad Ants win both contests. In 25.5 minutes per game, Smith averaged 14.5 points and 3.0 steals.

Smith has appeared in three games for New Orleans, averaging 0.3 rebounds per game. Smith appeared in six preseason contests for the Pelicans, averaging 5.0 points, 1.2 assists and 0.8 rebounds.

Drafted out of the University of Louisville by Philadelphia with the 47th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, Smith was acquired by New Orleans in a draft night trade.

Pelicans sign Gal Mekel

Pelicans sign Gal Mekel

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Gal Mekel. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mekel, 6-3, 191, appeared in 31 games (one start) last season with the Dallas Mavericks, posting averages of 2.4 points and 2.0 assists. Mekel appeared in all eight of Dallas’ 2014 preseason games (two starts), averaging 7.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists.

Prior to joining the Mavericks, Mekel spent five years playing professionally in Israel, winning two Israeli Super League championships with Hapoel Gilboa Galil in 2010 and Maccabi Haifa in 2013, as well as being named the 2009 Israeli Super League Rising Star and winning the league MVP award twice (2011, 2013). Before starting his professional career, the Israeli native played two seasons at Wichita State University from 2006-08.

Mekel will wear #24 and will be available for New Orleans’ game tomorrow night in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

New Orleans’ roster now stands at 15.

Pelicans sign Dante Cunningham

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed free agent forward Dante Cunningham.

Cunningham, 6-8, 230, was the 33rd overall pick out of Villanova in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. A five-year veteran, Cunningham has appeared in 366 career NBA games (41 starts) with Portland, Charlotte, Memphis and Minnesota, holding career averages of 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Cunningham will be available for the Pelicans’ game tonight at Golden State. He will wear #44.

New Orleans’ roster stands at 14.

Eric Gordon out with left shoulder injury

The New Orleans Pelicans are off to a 7-5 start this season and enjoying the rise of star forward Anthony Davis, and look to be on the rise, but they’ve just suffered an injury to their starting lineup.

The team announced today that guard Eric Gordon will be out indefinitely with a left shoulder injury. An MRI revealed Gordon suffered a torn labrum as a result of the left shoulder subluxation injury that occurred Saturday night at Utah.

Gordon will undergo further evaluation throughout this week by the team’s medical staff to determine the best course of action moving forward.

Gordon, who starts at shooting guard, hasn’t been a standout this season, averaging just 9.5 points and 2.0 assists in 31 minutes per game, and shooting just 39.8% from the field.

More details will be released as they become available.

Pelicans waive Kevin Jones and D.J. Stephens

The New Orleans Pelicans have waived forward Kevin Jones and guard D.J. Stephens.

Jones, 6-8, 260, spent the 2013-14 season with the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League where he averaged 16.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, earning a selection to the 2014 NBADL All-Star Game. This summer, Jones was a member of the Indiana Pacers’ summer league team. The West Virginia product appeared in three preseason games, totaling seven points and six rebounds in 16 minutes.

Stephens, 6-5, 188, began his professional career with Ilysiakos B.C. of Greece where he averaged 10.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. After appearing in 12 games, Stephens returned to the United States, signing a 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks on March 26, appearing in three games and averaging 2.3 points and 1.7 rebounds. Stephens concluded the 2013-14 season in Turkey, appearing in seven games for Anadolu Efes, where the Texas native averaged 5.0 points and 2.4 rebounds. The former Memphis Tiger appeared in three preseason games with the Pelicans, totaling five points and two rebounds in 11 minutes.

New Orleans’ roster now stands at 15.

pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the hiring and promotion of several members of the team’s basketball operations staff.

Duane Brooks, who brings over two decades of experience in his field, enters his first season as head athletic trainer with the New Orleans Pelicans after spending the previous 13 seasons as the New Orleans Saints’ assistant athletic trainer. Brooks is responsible for the health care, prevention and rehabilitation of injuries, daily training room operations and maintenance of the team’s medical records.

Jason Sumerlin joins the Pelicans as assistant strength and conditioning coach, where he will assist with the athletic development and training of players. Prior to joining New Orleans, Sumerlin spent five seasons as the assistant strength coach for the San Antonio Spurs.

Jared Lewis begins his first season with the Pelicans in the role of physical therapist, where he will oversee players’ prevention and rehabilitation of injuries. Lewis, a Northeastern University graduate, previously worked as a physical therapist with Marathon Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine of Norton, MA.

Jamelle McMillan has been elevated to player development coach after serving as a coaching intern for the Pelicans the past two seasons. McMillan came to New Orleans in 2012 from Drake University where he served as the director of basketball operations after playing four years at Arizona State University.

Terrance “Doc” Martin adds the role of player development coach to his director of player programs title, which he’s held the past two seasons. Martin served as a scout for the Pelicans from 2010-12 after spending the three previous years in Portland as a collegiate scout for the Trail Blazers. A four-year letterman from the University of Alabama, Martin also has experience as an assistant coach on the NBA Summer League teams for Portland and San Antonio.

Michael Ruffin enters his first season with the Pelicans as player development coach. Ruffin, who played nine seasons in the NBA, coached the ABA’s Colorado Kings in 2010-11 before continuing his professional basketball career in Spain.

Matt Whinrey has been promoted to head video coordinator after serving as the team’s assistant video coordinator last season. Prior to joining the Pelicans, Whinrey was an NBA regional scout and basketball operations assistant for the Cleveland Cavaliers. After graduating from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in 2009, Whinrey worked as a student assistant for the men’s basketball team before being named an assistant coach from 2010-2012.

Jason Brown has been named assistant video coordinator after working one season as the Pelicans’ video intern. Brown previously served as the Charlotte Bobcats’ video intern in 2012-13, a collegiate scout for NetScouts Basketball in 2011-12, and a Philadelphia 76ers video intern and youth programs assistant in 2011.

Bryson Graham has been promoted to scouting coordinator after spending the last two seasons as the Pelicans video coordinator. Graham previously served as the team’s player development director/basketball operations associate in 2011-12 and was a front office intern in 2010-11.

Pelicans waive Vernon Macklin

Pelicans waive Vernon Macklin

The New Orleans Pelicans announced Thursday that the team has waived forward Vernon Macklin.

Macklin, 6-10, 227, was the 52nd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. In 23 games with Detroit, Macklin averaged 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds. Most recently, Macklin played for Liaoning of the Chinese Basketball Association where he averaged 12.9 points and 5.7 rebounds. The University of Florida product was a member of the Orlando Magic’s 2014 summer league roster.

Tyreke Evans out 3-5 weeks with hamstring injury

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that guard Tyreke Evans is expected to miss 3-5 weeks with a strained right hamstring.

“Tyreke injured his hamstring playing pickup basketball out of town last week,” stated General Manager Dell Demps. “He is back in New Orleans rehabbing with our medical staff. Hopefully, he will be cleared to play before the season-opener.”

Evans appeared in 72 games for the Pelicans last season and averaged 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 28.2 minutes per game.

Pelicans fill training camp roster

The New Orleans Pelicans today added Kevin Jones, Dionte Christmas and Vernon Macklin to their training camp roster.

The vast majority of players given non-guaranteed contracts bringing them to training camp won’t make the roster, and tend to wind up playing overseas.

As for the Pelicans’ camp, here’s more info:

http://www.insidehoops.com/training-camp-pelicans-092614.shtml

Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune with an update on a key Pelican:

Ryan Anderson cleared to begin contact work

New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson announced on his Twitter account Wednesday that he has been medically cleared to begin contact work.

It comes eight months after Anderson suffered a season-ending neck injury on Jan. 3 when he collided with Boston Celtics forward Gerald Wallace and was carted off the court at the TD Garden on a stretcher.

Anderson underwent successful surgery on his cervical spin for a herniated disc in April.He was initially not expected to resume basketball activities for 4-6 months following surgery, according to the Pelicans.

Pelicans sign John Salmons

Pelicans sign John Salmons

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed forward John Salmons.

Salmons, the 26th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, has appeared in 874 games (429 starts) over his 12-year NBA career for Philadelphia, Sacramento, Chicago, Milwaukee and Toronto. The University of Miami product holds career averages of 9.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 26.8 minutes per game.

Pelicans waive Omri Casspi

Pelicans waive Omri Casspi

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has waived forward Omri Casspi.

Casspi has appeared in 327 games (96 starts) over the course of five NBA seasons with Sacramento, Cleveland and Houston, holding career averages of 7.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 20.7 minutes per game.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “Casspi was included in the deal in which the Pelicans acquired starting center Omer Asik from the Rockets. Casspi had a year remaining on his non-guaranteed contract valued at just more than $1 million. If Casspi had remained on the Pelicans’ roster by Aug.1, his contract would had become guaranteed.”

It is likely that Casspi will find a new NBA home soon.

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