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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.

Hornets trade Scotty Hopson to Pelicans

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has traded guard Scotty Hopson to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for cash considerations.

Hopson (6-7, 204) appeared in two games for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2013-14 season prior to being traded to Charlotte. The University of Tennessee product played 12 games for the Anadolu Efes in the Turkish Basketball League in 2013-14 and averaged 7.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game. He also appeared in 11 Euroleague games for the Anadolu Efes, where he averaged 15.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in 28.2 minutes per game.

Originally an undrafted free agent in the 2011 NBA Draft, Hopson spent the 2011-12 season in the Greek League with the Kolossos Rodou and the 2012-13 season with Hapo el Eilat of the Isreali League.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced that they have acquired the rights to Pierre Jackson from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the 47th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Jackson was originally drafted 42nd overall in 2013 and was part of the trade between Philadelphia and New Orleans that netted the Sixers Nerlens Noel and the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft.

Jackson averaged 30 points, 7 assists, 2 steals, 2 rebounds and 1 block in 31 games for the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede in 2013-14. He scored a D-League single game record 58 points on February 4, 2014 and was named to the D-League’s Futures All-Star Roster in 2014. During his senior year at Baylor University, he was named First Team All-Big 12 and was named the Most Outstanding Player in the 2013 NIT.

Pelicans hope to land a 2014 draft pick

Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting on the Pelicans:

The New Orleans Pelicans are heading into Thursday night’s NBA draft with no selection in the first or second rounds for the first time in 12 years. But that could change if the Pelicans are able to find a willing trade partner.

According to Pelicans coach Monty Williams, they have actively pursued options to get back in the NBA draft after surrendering their first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers that was part of last year’s draft night trade.

”If there’s an opportunity to get in the draft, we’re going to look at it,” Williams said. ”The one thing we don’t want to do is be aggressive and put ourselves in a position to where we’re hamstrung for awhile and can’t make moves for the future.

”But our focus has been on the moves we think we can make, whether it be in the draft or free agency.We watched a lot of film and have had a lot of discussions with (general manager) Dell (Demps) and his group about what we can do to help our team.”

Tyreke Evans undergoes knee surgery, recovery time is 6-8 weeks

New Orleans Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans underwent minor arthroscopic surgery yesterday to clean out scar tissue in his right knee, the team announced. Evans will begin rehab on his right knee immediately. His expected timetable for recovery is 6-8 weeks.

Evans appeared in 72 games this season and averaged 14.5 points, 5.0 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 28.2 minutes per game.

Here’s the New Orleans Times Picayune reporting on the Pelicans:

Eric Gordon might come off bench for Pelicans next season

Going into next season, New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard Eric Gordon could have to adjust coming off the bench instead of starting for the first time in his career.

With swingman Tyreke Evans emerging as a solid starter in the backcourt after Gordon missed the final 14 games because of a left knee injury, Pelicans coach Monty Williams said he has thoughts about Evans in a starting role, but it will be something under discussion throughout the offseason before a final decision is made.

Gordon, though, is gearing toward returning as a starter. When asked if he would feel comfortable assuming the team’s sixth man role he said in an email response Sunday,”I won’t get into that because I thought they brought me here to lead and set the tone for the team.

“I’ve got a lot to prove in my career and I’m still young (25).So the more durable I am will really show what I’m capable of,” said Gordon, who is the highest paid player on the Pelicans’ roster with two years remaining at $30.4 million.

Pelicans sign Melvin Ely, waive Greg Stiemsma

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team waived center Greg Stiemsma and signed center Melvin Ely for the remainder of the season.

Ely (6-10, 260) has appeared in 373 games over eight NBA seasons, averaging 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game. The 6-10 center joins the Pelicans after playing the last two seasons for the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League, where he appeared in 78 games (74 starts) and averaged 13.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game. In the 2013-14 season, Ely totaled 15.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 41 appearances and was selected to the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game.

Stiemsma appeared in 55 games (20 starts) this season for the Pelicans and averaged 2.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.0 block in 18.3 minutes per game. The three-year veteran holds career averages of 3.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 16.0 minutes per game.

Ely will wear No. 4 and will be available for tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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