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The New Orleans Pelicans signed guard Andrew Harrison to a two-way contract today.

Harrison, 6-6, 213, appeared in 11 games earlier this season (one with Memphis, 10 with Cleveland), averaging 4.1 points, 1.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per contest. Selected 44th overall by Phoenix in the 2015 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky, Harrison has appeared in 139 games (64 starts) for Memphis and Cleveland, holding career averages of 7.2 points, 2.8 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “Harrison started out this season with Memphis but was waived on Nov. 1. He was picked up by the Cavaliers just eight days later. ”

More from the Times-Picayune: “Harrison becomes the fourth Kentucky player on the Pelicans’ roster joining Anthony Davis, Julius Randle and Darius Miller. Harrison and Randle played together as freshman at Kentucky during the 2013-14 season.”

Harrison will wear #1 for the Pelicans and be available for the team’s home game tonight against Dallas.

New Orleans’s roster now stands at 17, including two two-way players (Harrison and Trevon Bluiett).

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.

 

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Magic center Nikola Vucevic has been named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week, and Pelicans forward-center Anthony Davis the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played between November 11-18, 2018.

It marks the second time that Vucevic has won the award during his career and the first time a Magic player has won the award since Vucevic earned it for the period ending Mar. 30, 2014.

During four games last week, Vucevic averaged 27.8 ppg., 10.5 rpg., 4.0 apg. and 1.25 stlpg., while shooting .581 (43-74) from the floor and .471 (8-17) from three-point range. He led Orlando to a 3-1 record with wins over Philadelphia, the L.A. Lakers and New York. Vucevic tallied three double-doubles and scored 28-or-more points in three consecutive games, becoming the first Magic player since Dwight Howard accomplished the feat Mar. 1-5, 2012.

Vucevic has played and started in all 17 games this season, averaging a team-high 20.4 ppg., a team-high 10.8 rpg., 3.6 apg., 1.12 stlpg. and 1.12 blkpg. in 30.5 minpg., while shooting a team-best .556 (144-259) from the floor, .452 (19-42) from three-point range and .813 (39-48) from the free throw line. He has led (or tied) the Magic in scoring seven times, in rebounding 13 times and in assists twice.

Davis led the Pelicans to a 3-1 week behind averages of 34.3 points (ranked 2nd in the NBA), 14.0 rebounds (4th in the NBA) and 2.0 blocks (T-5th in the NBA). Davis helped lead the Pelicans to a win at Toronto – handing the Raptors just their second loss of the season, and their first loss at home, behind 25 points and a season-high 20 rebounds – a 19-point comeback victory against New York on Nov. 16, registering a season-high 43 points to go with 17 rebounds and five assists, and capped off the week with 40 points, eight rebounds and a career-high-tying eight assists, while shooting 20-of-21 at the free throw line, Nov. 17 vs. Denver. Davis finished the week as one of just five players (at least 50 field goal attempts) to shoot at least .500 from the floor, .400 from three-point range and .850 from the free throw line.

This marks the fifth time Davis has earned Player of the Week honors during his career, and the first time during the 2018-19 season, becoming the first player in franchise history to earn multiple Player of the Week honors in the same season since Chris Paul in 2008-09.

Davis is currently averaging 27.5 points (ranked fifth in the NBA), 12.7 rebounds (ranked tied for sixth in the NBA) and 2.8 blocks (ranked second in the NBA) on the season for the Pelicans.

 

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The New Orleans Pelicans have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA G League team that will play in the renovated Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. The team is expected to debut in Birmingham in the 2022-23 season following the renovations.

In an effort to accelerate player development, the team will begin play next season in Erie, Pennsylvania, as the Erie BayHawks, while its permanent home at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) undergoes renovations. The name and identity of the team in Birmingham will be announced at a later date. The Pelicans organization will engage with the Birmingham community to determine an identity that best represents the city and the region.

“I’m so pleased to welcome the New Orleans Pelicans to the NBA G League’s growing family,” said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner. “The Pelicans join the league at an exciting time: We’re on the brink of 30 teams and are coming off our most productive season to date. I look forward to fans in Birmingham enjoying NBA G League basketball for seasons to come.”

“This is a tremendous day for the Pelicans organization,” said Pelicans owner Gayle Benson. “I’d like to thank the City of Birmingham, Mayor Woodfin and Tad Snider of the BJCC for being such fantastic partners in the endeavor. These are exciting times for this region, and we feel so fortunate to be a part of it.”

“We know this has been a lengthy process, but we wanted to ensure that we found the best partner for this endeavor, as we are fully invested in our team and building basketball in the Gulf South,” said Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha. “We’ve done our due diligence and researched markets across the region, and no one matched the interest and investment that the City of Birmingham will provide. Our NBA G League franchise is prepared to move to Birmingham as soon as the infrastructure and resources are in place, and we are willing to wait until renovations to Legacy Arena are complete to ensure we have the best facilities in the entire NBA G League. We are very anxious in becoming an active member of the Birmingham community. Additionally, we are excited to be able to accelerate our commitment to player development and establish our presence in the NBA G League by beginning play next year in Erie. We feel fortunate to be able to keep professional basketball in Erie, a city that has supported the team since 2008.”

“We are so excited to enter the NBA G League with our own exclusive affiliate,” said Pelicans Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations Dell Demps. “As a former coach and general manager in the G League, I fully understand the importance of player development and the significance behind giving players a chance to gain valuable experiences in game situations ones that can’t be replicated in practice or the film room. The opportunity to begin our operations next year in Erie is a great situation for our organization. The infrastructure is already in place, the transition in taking over basketball operations for the BayHawks will be seamless, and it allows us to accelerate our player development program. We’re thrilled that Birmingham will be the permanent home to our NBA G League team and look forward to bringing our brand of basketball and investment to the community. I’d like to thank Mrs. Benson, Dennis Lauscha and Mickey Loomis for their efforts to make this happen and their commitment to providing the resources we need to be successful.”

The Pelicans will partner with the BayHawks’ current management team, led by Owen McCormick and Matt Bresee, to operate the team in Erie. Most recently, the group in Erie has been in partnership with the Atlanta Hawks to host that team’s NBA G League affiliate while its arena in College Park, Georgia, is being completed. Erie has been the home to an NBA G League team since the 2008-09 season.

“We’re grateful to the New Orleans Pelicans organization for this opportunity to keep NBA G League basketball in Erie,” said Bresee, president of the BayHawks. “The league continues to experience tremendous growth and we’re thrilled for our fans, corporate partners and the Erie region as a whole that the Pelicans will be starting their NBA G League franchise here.”

Located just under 350 miles northeast of New Orleans, Legacy Arena will undergo a $123 million renovation and expansion prior to welcoming an NBA G League team. As part of the updates to the building, enhancements to Legacy Arena will include a new façade, new entrances and an expansion that will add a suite level and premium club space.

“We’re thrilled to have the Pelicans coming to Birmingham,” said Birmingham Mayor Woodfin. “We have worked hard to make sure we have the right assets in place so that we’re ready when opportunities come along to make our community an even better place to live. This is good for our residents, it’s good for our economy and it’s a great day for Birmingham.”

“Since opening in 1976, Legacy Arena has been fortunate to enjoy a rich sports history. We look forward to the opportunity to open the next chapter with the announcement that the New Orleans Pelicans organization will make Birmingham the home of its NBA G League team,” said Snider, CEO of Legacy Arena and BJCC. “When renovations to the arena are complete, Birmingham will have a very special venue that we’re confident will be a great facility in which to enjoy a first-class basketball experience.”

Five current Pelicans have NBA G League experience: Ian Clark, Cheick Diallo, Tim Frazier, Solomon Hill and Darius Miller. Since the NBA G League began in 2001, New Orleans has called up a total of 31 players, including 18 over the last three seasons, and assigned four players to the NBA G League for development or injury rehabilitation. Additionally, Demps and assistant coach Chris Finch both spent time honing their craft in the NBA’s official minor league with the Austin Spurs and Rio Grande Valley Vipers, respectively.

With today’s announcement, the NBA G League expands to a record 28 teams for the 2019-20 season.

The New Orleans Pelicans have acquired forward Wesley Johnson from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for center Alexis Ajinca.

In a subsequent transaction, the Clippers then waived Ajinca.

“Wes is a versatile player and a consummate professional who impacts the game on both ends of the court, and brings a strong, positive presence to the locker room,” said Frank. “We want to thank Wes for his contributions to the Clippers organization, and wish him, and his family, the best of luck in New Orleans.”

Johnson, 31, averaged 5.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 17.8 minutes across 222 appearances (52 starts) in three seasons with L.A. The eight-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 7.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 22.7 minutes through 571 games (321 starts) with the Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. The Corsicana, Texas native was originally drafted by the Timberwolves with the 4th pick in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-7 forward played his first two years of collegiate basketball at Iowa State before transferring to Syracuse.

Ajinca, 30, holds career averages of 5.3 points and 3.9 rebounds across 293 appearances in seven NBA seasons with Charlotte, Dallas, Toronto and New Orleans. A native of Saint-Etienne, France, the 7’2”, 248-pound center was selected 20th overall by Charlotte in the 2008 NBA Draft.

The New Orleans Pelicans have waived guard Jarrett Jack and forward Garlon Green.

Green, who was originally signed on July 24 after playing on the Pelicans’ summer league team in Las Vegas, appeared in four preseason games, averaging 4.0 points and 1.5 rebounds. Jack, who signed with New Orleans on September 19, appeared in three preseason games, averaging 3.3 points, 2.0 assists and 1.0 rebounds.

New Orleans’s roster currently stands at 16, including one two-way player (Trevon Bluiett).

Pelicans waive  Darius Morris and Brandon McCoy

The New Orleans Pelicans have waived guard Darius Morris and center Brandon McCoy.

McCoy, who signed with the Pels on September 29, played in three preseason games, and averaged 2.7 points and 2.7 rebounds.

Morris, originally signed on September 4, appeared with New Orleans in three preseason contests, and averaged 1.7 assists per game.

New Orleans’s roster currently stands at 18, including one two-way player (Trevon Bluiett).

Pelicans finish NBA preseason 0-5

Preseason is just a warmup, but it’s still not exactly a positive sign when a team fails to register a single win. Here’s The Advocate reporting on the Pelicans, who lost all five of their 2018-19 preseason games:

Nothing matters until next Wednesday’s regular-season opener at Houston, but the New Orleans Pelicans joined a very small list by losing their preseason finale against the Toronto Raptors.

Despite facing what amounted to a junior varsity lineup while playing their regular starters in a dress rehearsal for the games that count, the Pelicans could not muster up enough defense to win, falling 134-119 on Thursday night at the Smoothie King Center.

Toronto never trailed in the second half, shooting 53 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from the 3-point line.

“It’s concerning,” coach Alvin Gentry said. “More so than anything, we’ve got to do a much better job of just guarding the ball and keeping it in front of us.”

Pelicans sign center Brandon McCoy

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed free agent center Brandon McCoy.

It is very likely a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings McCoy to training camp.

McCoy, 7-1, 250, went undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Chicago native spent one season at UNLV, appearing in 33 games and averaging 16.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks.

McCoy will wear #12 for the Pelicans. New Orleans’ training camp roster now stands at 20.

Anthony Davis no longer has DeMarcus Cousins as a teammate, but new squad member Julius Randle could do big things next to him. The two form one of the most interesting frontcourt combos in the league, and are worth keeping an eye on, especially early in the season to see how well they learn to play together. Of course, chemistry development takes time. Here’s The Advocate reporting:

“The stuff I’ve seen (Julius) do with the Lakers has been awesome,” Davis said. “His ability to be a playmaker. His ability to score out of the post on anybody. It can be bigger guys or smaller guys. He’s going to go through your chest and get a bucket, go to the line. He’s another guy who can do pretty much everything. When you have a guy like that, it’s hard not to be excited to play with a guy like that. I’m excited to see how it flows in a game.”

Collectively, David and Randle averaged 44.2 points and 19.1 rebounds last season for their respective teams. That’s 28.1 points and 16.1 rebounds for Davis and 16.1 points and 8 rebounds for Randle.

Randle looks forward to the possibilities.

For the first time in his NBA career, he’ll be playing alongside an MVP-caliber player.

“I’ve never been in a situation where I got to play with a player like AD,” Randle said. “For me, I feel like it makes my job a lot easier. I can just go out there and do what I naturally do, which is play hard. Everything else works itself out because he takes so much pressure off all of us. We already know hat he can do on both ends of the floor and how he affects the game.”

Full article

Pelicans waive Emeka Okafor

Pelicans waive Emeka Okafor

The New Orleans Pelicans requested waivers on center Emeka Okafor today.

Okafor, 6-10, 252, appeared in 26 regular season games last season with New Orleans after signing with the team on February 3, 2018 and finished the season with averages of 4.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.

It’s tough to say if Okafor will find his way back into the NBA. Right now he’s a longshot to make a regular season roster.

Pelicans sign Jarrett Jack

Pelicans sign Jarrett Jack

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed guard Jarrett Jack.

Jack, 6-3, 200, most recently played for the New York Knicks, appearing in 62 games last season (56 starts) while averaging 7.5 points, 5.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per contest.

This will be Jack’s third stint with New Orleans, as he appeared in two games with the Pelicans in 2016-17 and 115 games between 2010-12. In 117 regular season games for New Orleans, Jack has averaged 11.1 points, 4.0 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 25.1 minutes per game.

Selected 22nd overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2005 NBA Draft out of Georgia Tech, Jack has appeared in 867 career regular season games with Portland, Toronto, New Orleans, Golden State, Cleveland, Brooklyn and New York, holding averages of 10.8 points, 4.6 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per contest.

On the Pelicans and their defense

Here’s The Advocate with some thoughts on the Pelicans and what makes them tick when things are going their way:

But underneath the waves of full-court sprints and lit-up scoreboards, the backbone of the Pelicans’ success was their stingy and savvy defense. Despite the onslaught of speed, they were able to stymie opposing offenses from scoring efficiently in transition, while effectively bottling up the halfcourt pick-and-roll.

From Feb. 1 onward, New Orleans allowed just 103.4 points per 100 possessions, the league’s fourth-best overall output and ranked No. 1 in defending the pick-and-roll. It allowed the Pelicans to win 20 of their final 28 games, while vaulting both Holiday and Davis to be the only teammates named first-team All-Defense selections.

Now, a week away from the opening of training camp, and with a recalibrated roster in place, the Pelicans’ mission is to re-engineer their defense to match the output generated in those final 35 games.

Full article

Anthony Davis is one of the league’s top stars, though his Pelicans squad needs more talent for their win totals to turn anyone’s heads. But on an individual level, Davis has decided to make a change. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis has parted ways with longtime agent Thad Foucher, sources told ESPN.

To officially change agents, players are required to file paperwork with the players’ union and then wait 15 days. Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who represents LeBron James among others, is a leading contender to represent Davis, sources said.

Full article

The L.A. Clippers have exercised their right of first refusal and will retain guard Tyrone Wallace.

Per NBA rule, the Clippers had two days to match the offer sheet provided to Wallace by the New Orleans Pelicans.

Wallace spent training camp with Los Angeles before the club’s G League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, acquired his returning player rights from the Salt Lake City Stars in October 2017. He spent the early part of the 2017-18 season with Agua Caliente, appearing in 26 games and averaged 22.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. On January 6, Wallace signed a two-way contract with the L.A. Clippers, appearing in 30 games for Los Angeles and averaged 9.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 28.4 minutes.

“We identified Tyrone as a versatile, competitive and tough-minded player who adds to the organizational culture,” said Frank. “Ty worked hard with our staff at Agua Caliente and Los Angeles, and his growth has been a reflection of his commitment to getting better. Together with our team’s player development program, Ty demonstrated impressive improvement and contributed meaningfully to our team last season. We are excited to welcome Ty back to the Clippers.”

A native of Bakersfield, CA, Wallace was selected 60th overall by the Utah Jazz in the 2016 NBA Draft out of the University of California, Berkeley.

Pelicans sign Darius Morris

Pelicans sign Darius Morris

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed guard Darius Morris.

Morris, 6-4, 195, most recently played for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League, appearing in three games at the end of the regular season and averaging 19.0 points, 7.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds.

Selected 41st overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, the University of Michigan product has appeared in 132 career regular season games with the Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets, holding averages of 3.3 points, 1.4 assists and 1.0 rebounds. Additionally, Morris has appeared in 65 career G League games with Los Angeles and Rio Grande Valley, averaging 19.1 points, 6.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals

Pelicans waive DeAndre Liggins

Pelicans waive DeAndre Liggins

The New Orleans Pelicans waived guard DeAndre Liggins today.

Liggins, 6-6, 209, appeared in 27 games (three starts) for New Orleans last season after being originally signed on January 10, averaging 1.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 9.0 minutes.

The Pelicans had an interesting offseason. Their biggest change is losing DeMarcus Cousins, who is still healing from injury, and adding power forward Julius Randle, who could do big things alongside superstar Anthony Davis. Other roster changes took place as well, but that’s the big one.

As for Liggins, he was a longshot to make the regular season roster, but could latch on with another team.

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.

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