Pelicans sign Jose Alvarado and Daulton Hommes to two-way contracts

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed guard Jose Alvarado and forward Daulton Hommes to two-way contracts.

Alvarado, 6-0, 179, started all 26 games during the 2020-21 season for Georgia Tech, where he was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-ACC Second Team honors after averaging 15.2 points, 4.1 assists, and 2.8 steals per game. In four seasons with the Yellow Jackets, Alvarado appeared in 106 games (104 starts) and finished with career averages of 13.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.1 steals in 34.9 minutes played.

Hommes, 6-8, 215, most recently played for Vanoli Cremona of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A, averaging 16.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 28 games while shooting .468 from the floor, .427 from deep, and .863 from the foul line. Undrafted in 2019 out of Point Loma Nazarene University, Hommes appeared in 36 games (six starts) with the G League’s Austin Spurs in the 2019-20 season, in which he averaged 8.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 19.6 minutes per game.

Pelicans re-sign Josh Hart

The New Orleans Pelicans have re-signed guard Josh Hart.

“Josh brings tenacity, competitiveness and infectious energy to our team every time he steps on the court,” said Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin. “We are excited to welcome him back and grateful that he wanted to continue his evolution with our Pelicans family.”

Hart, who was originally acquired by New Orleans from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a three-team trade on July 6, 2019, appeared in 47 games (four starts) for the Pelicans last season, averaging 9.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 28.7 minutes per game.

Selected with the 30th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Hart has appeared in 242 games (65 starts) with the Lakers and Pelicans over four seasons, holding career averages of 8.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 26.0 minutes per contest.

The Silver Spring, Maryland native appeared in 146 games (77 starts) over four collegiate seasons at Villanova University, averaging 13.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 28.0 minutes. As a senior, Hart was named the Big East Player of the Year after averaging 18.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists during the 2016-17 season.

Pelicans re-sign Willy Hernangomez and Didi Louzada

The New Orleans Pelicans have re-signed center Willy Hernangómez and guard Didi Louzada.

“The passion Willy and Didi have for their teammates and our greater Pelicans community is reflected every day in their approach to the game,” said Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin. “Their joyful outlook, work ethic, attention to detail and desire to grow and evolve as professionals has been infectious and we look forward to continuing towards our goals together deep into the future.”

Signed as a free agent on November 30, 2020, Hernangómez appeared in 47 games (12 starts) for New Orleans during the 2020-21 season, averaging 7.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 18.0 minutes per game. Hernangómez shot a career-best .563 from the field and tallied 11 double-doubles on the year.

Selected 35th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, the native of Madrid, Spain, has appeared in 256 career regular season games with New York, Charlotte, and New Orleans, holding averages of 7.1 points on .537 shooting from the field, 5.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 15.0 minutes.

Louzada, who was originally signed by New Orleans on April 27, 2021, appeared in three games for the Pelicans last season. The Brazilian native previously played two seasons (2019-21) for the Sydney Kings of NBL Australia, where he appeared in 45 games and averaged 10.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists.

Selected with the 35th pick in the 2019 draft by Atlanta, Louzada’s draft rights were acquired by New Orleans along with draft rights to Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes, in exchange for the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter, Solomon Hill, and a future second-round draft pick on July 6, 2019.

Pelicans sign rookie forward Herbert Jones

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed rookie forward Herbert Jones.

Jones, who was drafted by the Pelicans with the 35th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, started all 33 games he played during his senior season at the University of Alabama, averaging 11.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 44.6 percent from the field.

He was named the 2021 SEC Player of the Year and SEC Defensive Player of the Year, becoming just the third player in conference history to win both honors in the same season. Jones was also named to the 2021 All-SEC First Team and SEC All-Defensive Team while leading the Crimson Tide to the conference’s regular season and tournament titles.

In his four collegiate seasons at Alabama, Jones appeared in 129 games (101 starts) and finished with career averages of 7.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 23.8 minutes per game.

Jones has appeared in all four NBA Summer League contests for the Pelicans, averaging 7.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 21.7 minutes per game.

Pelicans sign rookie Trey Murphy III

The New Orleans Pelicans announced yesterday that the team has signed rookie forward Trey Murphy III.

Murphy III, the 17th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, was acquired by the Pelicans from the Memphis Grizzlies on August 7, 2021. He appeared in 25 games (20 starts) for the University of Virginia last season, averaging 11.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 43.3 percent from three-point range. In his first two collegiate seasons at Rice University, Murphy III appeared in 61 games (25 starts) for the Owls and averaged 10.9 points and 4.0 rebounds in 25.2 minutes per game.

Pelicans trade Lonzo Ball to Bulls

The New Orleans Pelicans have acquired guard Tomáš Satoranský, guard Garrett Temple, a 2024 second round pick and cash considerations from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for guard Lonzo Ball.

“Tomáš and Garrett will bring incredible veteran presence, feel and versatility to both sides of the floor for our lineup,” said Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin. “Both have also distinguished themselves as teammates and leaders in their communities. We couldn’t be happier to welcome them to New Orleans.”

Satoranský, 6-7, 210, appeared in 55 games (18 starts) for the Bulls last season and averaged 7.7 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 22.5 minutes per game. Originally drafted 32nd overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards, Satoranský has appeared in 333 career games (169 starts) over five seasons with Washington and Chicago, averaging 7.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 23.2 minutes per contest.

Temple, 6-5, 195, who is entering his 12th NBA season, has appeared in 632 career games (272 starts), averaging 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 21.7 minutes per contest. The LSU product appeared in 56 games (25 starts) for Chicago last season and averaged 7.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 27.3 minutes per game.

“In his two seasons with us, Lonzo has had a profound impact on this team and upon this community,” added Griffin. “His growth and development as a player have been evident and his charitable works, while largely unheralded, have been every bit as impressive. We appreciate his total contributions to the Pelicans’ family and wish him every success moving forward.”

Ball, 6-6, 190, appeared in 118 games (109 starts) over the last two seasons with the Pelicans, averaging 13.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Ball has appeared in 217 career games (204 starts) over the last four seasons with the Lakers and Pelicans, holding averages of 11.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game.

Three-team NBA trade sends Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe to Grizzlies, Jonas Valanciunas to Pelicans

The Memphis Grizzlies have acquired center Steven Adams, guard Eric Bledsoe, the draft rights to wing Ziaire Williams (the 10th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft) and a protected 2022 first round draft pick (via Los Angeles Lakers) from the New Orleans Pelicans as part of a three-team trade also involving the Charlotte Hornets. Memphis also received from New Orleans the draft rights to guard Jared Butler (the 40th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft) for his inclusion in a trade agreed to in principle and to be completed later.

In exchange, the Grizzlies traded center Jonas Valančiūnas, the draft rights to forward Trey Murphy (the 17th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft) and the draft rights to guard Brandon Boston (the 51st overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft) to the Pelicans and traded the draft rights to Tyler Harvey (the 51st overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft) to the Hornets.

In addition, the Hornets traded guard Devonte’ Graham to the Pelicans. The Pelicans traded wing Wesley Iwundu and a protected 2022 first round pick to the Hornets.

“As we entered this offseason, we were intently focused upon improving our shooting, leadership and the overall fit of our roster,” said Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin. “The players that are joining us today speak directly to those areas of concern. More importantly, their strength of character as men, and teammates that are eager to be part of our larger Pelicans family will be critical as we continue building towards sustainable success.”

Adams (6-11, 265) has competed in 588 games (524 starts) and holds career averages of 9.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 26.9 minutes in his eight-year NBA career with the Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder. The New Zealand native started all 58 appearances for New Orleans last season and averaged 7.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 27.7 minutes. Selected 12th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft out of the University of Pittsburgh, the 28-year-old ranks seventh in NBA history in field goal percentage (.591).

Bledsoe (6-1, 214) has appeared in 702 games (539 starts) and owns career averages of 14.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 28.0 minutes in his 11-year NBA career with the Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers. Selected 18th overall in the 2010 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky, the 31-year-old averaged 12.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 29.7 minutes in 71 games (70 starts) for New Orleans last season.

Williams (6-8 ¼, 185) was named a top-10 finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award last season as a freshman at Stanford University, where he averaged 10.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 27.8 minutes in 20 games. The 19-year-old California native recorded the second triple-double in program history with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists on Jan. 7 vs. Washington and earned Naismith Trophy Player of the Week honors on Jan. 11.

Valančiūnas (6-11 ¼, 265) has competed in 621 games (592 starts) and holds career averages of 12.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 25.6 minutes in his nine-year NBA career with the Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors. Selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the 29-year-old Lithuania native averaged 16.4 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 27.3 minutes in 151 games (148 starts) over two-plus seasons in Memphis.

New Orleans Pelicans hire Jarron Collins and Mike D’Antoni

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the hiring of Jarron Collins as an assistant coach and Mike D’Antoni as a coaching advisor.

They join assistant coaches Casey Hill, Fred Vinson and Teresa Weatherspoon, along with player development coaches Corey Brewer, Darnell Lazare and Beno Udrih on Head Coach Willie Green’s staff.

“This is a cohesive group of high-character individuals with diverse backgrounds and skill sets,” said Green. “I’m confident that their coaching and playing experience at the highest professional and collegiate levels, combined with their work ethic and team-focused approach, will help build the foundation we need to be successful.”

Collins begins his first season with the Pelicans after serving the previous seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. While on Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr’s staff, Collins helped guide Golden State to five consecutive NBA Finals appearances (2014-19) and three NBA Championships (2015, 2017 & 2018). He began his coaching career as a player development coach with the Warriors during the 2014-15 season before getting promoted to assistant coach. Selected by Utah with the 52nd overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, Collins posted career averages of 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 542 regular season games over 10 seasons with Utah, Phoenix, the L.A. Clippers and Portland.

D’Antoni joins New Orleans after serving as an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets during the 2020-21 season. D’Antoni has compiled a record of 672-527 (.560 winning percentage) over 16 seasons as a head coach with Denver (1998-99), Phoenix (2003-08), New York (2008-12), L.A. Lakers (2012-14) and Houston (2016-20). He has guided his team to the playoffs 10 times, including three Western Conference Finals appearances (Phoenix – 2005 & 2006; Houston – 2018). D’Antoni has earned Coach of the Year honors twice during his career (Phoenix – 2005; Houston – 2018), becoming one of only 10 head coaches in NBA history to be named Coach of the Year multiple times. He has also served as an assistant coach with Denver (1997-98), Portland (2000-01) and Phoenix (2002-03), as well as associate head coach with Philadelphia (2015-16). A dual citizen of the U.S. and Italy, D’Antoni began his coaching career in Italy, leading Olimpia Milano for four seasons (1990-94) and Benetton Basket for three seasons (1994-97) before being hired by Denver as an assistant coach.

Hill returns for his second season as an assistant coach with the Pelicans. Hill previously served as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers (2018-20). He spent the 2017-18 season as head coach of the Clippers’ NBA G League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers, leading the team to a 23-27 record in its inaugural season. Hill joined the Clippers after four seasons as head coach of the Santa Cruz Warriors, G League affiliate of the Golden State Warriors, where he led the franchise to its first-ever G League title in 2014-15. Hill and his staff in Santa Cruz earned the 2013-14 NBA G League “Development Champion” award, an annual honor that recognizes the team that best embodies the league’s goals of developing NBA basketball talent via call-ups and assignments. Prior to joining Santa Cruz staff, the Trinity University grad worked under his father, longtime NBA coach Bob Hill, with the Tokyo Apache, a professional team in Japan.

Vinson begins his 12th season as an assistant coach in New Orleans. Prior to joining the Pelicans, Vinson was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers from 2007-09. In addition to his duties as an assistant coach, Vinson also served as director of player programs for the Clippers, where he was responsible for mentoring young players and easing their transition to the NBA. Vinson played 13 years of professional basketball, including two NBA seasons with the Atlanta Hawks and Seattle SuperSonics. In addition to playing in the United States Basketball League, Continental Basketball Association and American Basketball Association, Vinson spent several years overseas with professional clubs in the Philippines, Israel, Venezuela, Poland and France. In 2003, Vinson was a member of the CBA Champion Yakima Sun Kings, in addition to being named a CBA All-Star that season. He also holds the record for most points in a game in Guaiqueries de Margarita (Venezuela) team history with 53.

Weatherspoon returns for her third season with the Pelicans, including her second season as an assistant coach after serving as a two-way player development coach in 2019-20. Prior to joining the Pelicans, Weatherspoon served as the director of player and franchise development with the WNBA’s New York Liberty from 2016-19. Weatherspoon served as the head coach at her alma mater, Louisiana Tech University, from 2009-14, leading the Lady Techsters to a 99-71 (.582) record over six seasons, making consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament in 2010 and 2011, and winning the WAC tournament in 2010. She initially joined the women’s basketball program at Louisiana Tech in the 2008-09 season, serving as associate head coach after serving as the head coach of the Westchester (NY) Phantoms of the American Basketball Association during the 2007-08 season. After a collegiate playing career at Louisiana Tech from 1984-88, where she helped lead her team to the 1988 NCAA National Championship during her senior campaign, Weatherspoon embarked on a 16-year playing career, beginning overseas with stops in Italy, France and Russia from 1988-1996, then joining the New York Liberty from 1997-03, and finishing her professional career as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks in 2004. In 254 career regular season games in the WNBA, Weatherspoon averaged 5.0 points, 5.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals while earning multiple accolades along the way, including back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1997 and 1998, four consecutive All-WNBA Second Team nods from 1997-2000 and five straight All-Star appearances from 1999-2003. At the conclusion of her career, Weatherspoon was named one of the WNBA’s top 15 players of all time in 2011 and was a member of the WNBA Top 20@20 list in 2016. A 2010 inductee into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Weatherspoon was recently enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts as part of the 2019 class.

Brewer enters his second season with the Pelicans as a player development coach. Selected seventh overall in the 2007 NBA Draft, the 13-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 8.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 819 regular season games for Minnesota, Dallas, Denver, Houston, the L.A. Lakers, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Sacramento. Brewer averaged 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists during his three-year collegiate career and was a key member of the University of Florida’s back-to-back National Championship teams in 2006 and 2007, earning the NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player Award in 2007.

Lazare begins his third season as a player development coach in New Orleans. Prior to joining the Pelicans, Lazare served as player development coach and assistant video coordinator for the Memphis Grizzlies and previously served as an assistant coach for the NBA G League’s Iowa Energy. The Baton Rouge native played four years at Louisiana State University, where he appeared in 120 games and helped lead the Tigers to the 2006 Final Four. Lazare played professionally in the NBA G League for the Maine Red Claws, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, and Idaho Stampede, as well as overseas in Sweden, Ukraine, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Udrih returns for his second season with the Pelicans as a player development coach. Udrih previously served as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks’ NBA G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, during the 2019-20 season. Selected 28th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft, the Slovenian native holds career averages of 8.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 831 regular season games for San Antonio, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Orlando, New York, Memphis, Miami and Detroit, winning two NBA Championships with the Spurs (2005, 2007). In addition to his 13-year NBA career, Udrih has played professionally in Israel, Russia, Italy, Lithuania, and his native Slovenia, winning multiple championships across Europe.

Ormandy returns for his seventh season with the Pelicans, including his fifth as video coordinator after serving as the team’s assistant video coordinator from 2015-17. Prior to joining the Pelicans, Ormandy served as a video intern with the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors during the 2014-15 season and the Houston Rockets during the 2013-14 season. In 2012-13, he served as a graduate assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Ormandy is joined by video assistant Jon Tramer, who enters his third season in New Orleans, along with player development assistant Brandon Demas, who returns for his fourth season with the team.

New Orleans Pelicans name Willie Green new head coach

The New Orleans Pelicans have named Willie Green the team’s new head coach, it was announced today by Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin. Green becomes the eighth head coach in franchise history.

“After an extensive and collaborative search, Willie stood out among an impressive group of candidates as the best person to lead our team moving forward,” said Pelicans Governor Gayle Benson. “We are very happy to welcome Willie as our new head coach and we look forward to working with him to guide our team on the court as we work towards bringing a championship to New Orleans.”

“Willie has established himself as one of the most respected assistant coaches in the NBA. In large part, this is due to a tireless work ethic and authenticity of character,” said Griffin. “He brings a vast amount of basketball knowledge and experience to our team as both a coach and former player, along with exceptional leadership qualities and an innate ability to connect with players, staff and fans alike. We could not be more excited to welcome Willie and his family to New Orleans.”

“I want to thank Mrs. Benson, David Griffin, and the entire Pelicans organization for having faith in me to lead this talented group of players moving forward,” said Green. “It’s a blessing and an honor to get this opportunity in a special place like New Orleans. I look forward to getting to work and immersing myself and my family into the local community.”

Green joins the Pelicans after spending the previous two seasons (2019-21) as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns. As a part of head coach Monty Williams’ staff, Green helped guide the 2021 Western Conference Champions to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993. As the Suns’ defensive coordinator, Phoenix finished the regular season with the NBA’s sixth-best defensive rating. He also served as the Phoenix’s head coach for NBA Summer League in 2019, leading the Suns to a 3-1 record in Las Vegas.

Prior to joining Phoenix, Green spent three seasons (2016-19) as assistant coach/player development for the Golden State Warriors. While on head coach Steve Kerr’s staff, Green helped the Warriors win back-to-back NBA Championships in 2017 and 2018 before returning to the NBA Finals in 2019. He also served as the Warriors’ head coach for NBA Summer League in 2018, leading Golden State to the California Classic’s only 3-0 record.

Green, a 12-year NBA veteran as a player, was selected with the 41st overall pick by Seattle in the 2003 NBA Draft. He appeared in 731 regular season games (297 starts) with Philadelphia, New Orleans, Atlanta, the LA Clippers and Orlando from 2003-15, and qualified for the playoffs seven times in his 12 seasons.

A native of Detroit, Green was a four-year standout at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he won Horizon League Player of the Year as a senior in 2003 and helped the Titans to two NIT appearances in 2001 and 2002, including a trip to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden in 2001. Green remains fifth in program history in career points scored.