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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.

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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).

Pelicans sign DeAndre Liggins to second 10-day contract

The New Orleans Pelicans today signed DeAndre Liggins to a second 10-day contract.

The 6-foot-6, 209-pound guard, who signed his first Pelicans 10-day contract on January 10, has appeared in just one game with the Pelicans during that first 10-day stretch, putting up four points, one rebound and one assist in 11 minutes.

The Pelicans are 23-21, which is tied for the 7th best record in the Western conference.

There are currently 18 players on the Pelicans’ roster.

Recent Pelicans-related news: The NBA a few days ago announced that Pelicans teammates Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins were named starters for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Feb. 18 at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

Pelicans waive Jalen Jones

The New Orleans Pelicans yesterday waived forward Jalen Jones.

Jones was originally signed to a two-way contract by the Pelicans on August 2. He appeared in four games with New Orleans, totaling five points and three rebounds in 19 minutes. Jones has appeared in 17 G League games this season with the Greensboro Swarm and Texas Legends, averaging 19.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

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

Wizards set to face Pelicans

 

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The Wizards are set to face the Pelicans tonight. An intriguing matchup for anybody in the league, the Pelicans have two of the biggest names in the NBA frontcourt world: DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. But the team as a whole is 15-15, tied for the 7th best record in the Western conference. Very solid, but unspectacular.

Here’s NBC Sports Washington discussing the Pels:

Few teams in the NBA offer a matchup problem as unique as the New Orleans Pelicans, who feature two All-Star big men in Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. One is lanky with arms that reach to the sky. The other is wider and known for his brute strength. Both can move and shoot unusually well for their size.

On Tuesday night, the Wizards will see the Pelicans’ twin towers for the first time since Cousins landed in New Orleans. He was acquired from the Kings in a Feb. 20 trade, just 16 days after the second and final meeting between the teams in the 2016-17 season.

Cousins is a player the Wizards know well. He and Wizards guard John Wall teamed up at the University of Kentucky back in the 2009-10 season before the two were drafted into the NBA. Veteran players on the Wizards have played against both Cousins and Davis over the years. But now they have to deal with them at the same time.

Full article

Tony Allen out 3-4 weeks with injury

Pelicans guard Tony Allen will be out of action for the next 3-4 weeks. The team announced today that the veteran has been diagnosed with a non-displaced left proximal fibula fracture.

Allen, who is 6-4 and 213, has played a limited role on the team. He is averaging 4.7 points and 2.1 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game and has not been a serious factor.

Known as a defensive stopper, Allen has played in 820 career regular season NBA games, with an average of 8.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 22.0 minutes per outing. He has played for Boston, Memphis and New Orleans.

Pelicans waive Josh Smith

Pelicans waive Josh Smith

The New Orleans Pelicans have waived forward Josh Smith.

Smith, 6-9, 225, was originally signed by New Orleans on October 28.

It’s unclear if Smith will be back in the NBA. He’s only 31 but his game appears to be in serious decline.

The Pelicans roster currently stands at 17, including two two-way players.

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