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Pelicans re-sign Norris Cole

Pelicans re-sign Norris Cole

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the team has re-signed restricted free agent guard Norris Cole.

Cole, 6-2, 175, was acquired on Feb. 19, 2015, from Miami in a three-way trade involving Phoenix. In 28 regular season games with the Pelicans last season, Cole averaged 9.9 points and 3.2 assists per contest. Cole appeared in 75 total games during the 2014-15 season between New Orleans and Miami, averaging 7.6 points and 3.4 assists per game. Cole appeared in all four of New Orleans’ playoff games against Golden State in the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs, averaging 8.8 points and 1.8 assists.

Originally selected 28th overall out of Cleveland State in the 2011 NBA Draft by Chicago, Cole has appeared in 302 career regular season games, with averages of 6.6 points and 2.6 assists per game. Additionally, Cole has appeared in 64 career playoff games, holding averages of 4.5 points and 1.5 assists, winning championships with Miami in 2012 and 2013.

Pelicans sign Sean Kilpatrick

Pelicans sign Sean Kilpatrick

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the team has signed free agent guard Sean Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick, 6-4, 210, appeared in four games during the 2014-15 season for the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists. Kilpatrick spent the majority of the 2014-15 season in the NBA Development League, appearing in 44 games for the Santa Cruz Warriors and Delaware 87ers, while averaging 13.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game.

Undrafted in 2014, Kilpatrick played four seasons at the University of Cincinnati, earning All-American Second Team and First Team All-ACC honors during his senior year.

Pelicans sign Bryce Dejean-Jones

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the team has signed free agent rookie guard Bryce Dejean-Jones.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “his signing officially brings the Pelicans to 13 guaranteed contracts while New Orleans’ pursuit of point guard Norris Cole is still ongoing.”

Dejean-Jones, 6-6, 209, was a member of the Pelicans summer league team in Las Vegas after going unselected in the 2015 NBA Draft. In six games, Dejean-Jones averaged 12.8 points on .619 shooting from the field, including .500 from three point range, to go along with 1.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.2 assists in 21.7 minutes per game.

During his senior season at Iowa State University, Dejean-Jones averaged 10.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals, helping the Cyclones win the 2015 Big 12 Tournament.

Pelicans waive Toney Douglas

Pelicans waive Toney Douglas

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the team has waived point guard Toney Douglas.

Douglas, 6-2, 185, appeared in 12 games for New Orleans during the 2014-15 season, averaging 4.3 points and 2.0 assists in 14.8 minutes per game. Originally signed by the Pelicans on February 4, Douglas was waived on February 19 before subsequently re-signing with the team for the remainder of the season on March 24.

Drafted 29th overall out of Florida State in 2009 by the Los Angeles Lakers, Douglas has appeared in 309 career NBA games with New York, Houston, Sacramento, Golden State, Miami and New Orleans, averaging 7.6 points and 2.2 assists in 18.9 minutes per game.

Pelicans hope to keep Norris Cole

Norris Cole is a good backup guard. And he has a cool haircut. Here’s the New Orleans Times Picayune reporting on the Pelicans, who hope to keep Cole on their squad. Last season in 28 games for New Orleans, Cole averaged 9.9 points and 3.2 assists in 24.4 minutes per outing:

Pelicans hope to keep Norris Cole

The Pelicans declined last week to withdraw their qualifying offer of $3 million to Cole. The chances for New Orleans to retain Cole improves as he remains unsigned. Most of the teams in the NBA have already made their most important deals in free agency.

At this point, the Pelicans’ qualifying could end up as the most money Cole may be offered on the open market in free agency. Although the Philadelphis 76ers have been one of the teams that have expressed interest, according to sources, the Pelicans can also match any offer Cole receives.

”Of course, I would love to see Norris back,” Pelicans forward Quincy Pondexter said earlier this week. ”I know that he’s trying to figure what’s best for himself and family. Norris is such a huge part of our team, a huge part of our success last year. I don’t think we make the run without him and so to have him back and have Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson healthy, I think it’s going to be a great year for our team.”

Pelicans re-sign Luke Babbitt

Pelicans re-sign Luke Babbitt

The New Orleans Pelicans have re-signed free agent forward Luke Babbitt.

In 2014-15, Babbitt, 6-9, 225, appeared in 63 games (19 starts) for New Orleans, averaging 4.1 points, while shooting .513 from three-point range, and 1.8 rebounds in 13.2 minutes per contest. Babbitt originally signed with the Pelicans as an unrestricted free agent on February 4, 2014. In 90 career games with the Pelicans, Babbitt has averaged 4.7 points while shooting .452 from three-point range, and 2.2 rebounds.

Originally drafted by Minnesota with the 16th overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Nevada, Babbitt has played in 216 career NBA games with Portland and New Orleans, holding averages of 4.2 points and 2.1 rebounds.

Here’s the New Orleans Times Picayune reporting on one of the biggest stars of 2015 summer league. It’ll be interesting to see if after this, Seth Curry lands himself a regular season contract.

The Seth Curry summer league show continues

It didn’t appear early New Orleans Pelicans guard Seth Curry was on his way to having another sensational game on Saturday night like he had been enjoying in the NBA Summer League.

Curry started the game going 1-of-10 from the field and was held to just three points in the first half.

Still, Curry scored 21 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to help the Pelicans surge to a 100-91 victory against the Golden State Warriors to advance to Sunday’s semifinals game against the Phoenix Suns at 7 p.m. The Suns advanced to the semifinals after beating the Chicago Bulls, 91-84, in Saturday’s quarterfinal game.

At 5-0, the Pelicans are the only remaining team in the 24-team NBA Summer League that remains unbeaten.Curry broke from his shooting slump in the third quarter when he scored 11 points.

Playing well at summer league can definitely get a player invited to an NBA training camp, or even signed for the season. Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting on Stephen Curry’s brother Seth, who has stepped up here in Las Vegas:

Seth Curry playing great at summer league

The fourth-seeded Pelicans are also pushing to remain unbeaten for the first time as they will take a 4-0 record into Saturday against the 12th-seeded Golden State Warriors (3-2) at 9 p.m., which will be televised on NBA-TV.

Guard Seth Curry, the younger brother of Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, has emerged as the Pelicans’ summer league star. He has showcased his ability to make an assortment of shots from quick pull-up jumpers, bank shots and driving layups.

Curry is the leading scorer in the NBA Summer League with a 25.3 scoring average.

In the Pelicans’ 97-81 victory against the Washington Wizards in Thursday’s second round of the summer league’s single-elimination tournament, Curry scored 26. He has not totaled less than 20 points in a game and he started the summer league with a 30-point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks last week.

Pelicans sign Alonzo Gee

Pelicans sign Alonzo Gee

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed free agent guard/forward Alonzo Gee.

Gee, 6-6, 220, appeared in 54 games last season for the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers, averaging 4.5 points and 1.7 rebounds.

Undrafted in 2009 out of the University of Alabama, Gee has appeared in 331 career games with Washington, San Antonio, Cleveland, Denver and Portland, holding averages of 7.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

The New Orleans Pelicans have re-signed free agents Alexis Ajinca, Omer Asik and Dante Cunningham.

“The Pelicans are proud to welcome the return of Omer, Alexis and Dante to our team,” stated Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps. “All three players were key contributors on our team last season. We are happy all three players elected to return and continue our quest to become an elite team in the NBA.”

Ajinca is coming off his best season to date, appearing in a career-high 68 games (eight starts) in 2014-15, while averaging a career-best 6.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks. The French native recorded five double-doubles, and scored in double figures 20 times, including a career-high 24 points against Miami on Feb. 27.

Originally selected 20th overall by Charlotte in the 2008 NBA Draft, Ajinca has appeared in 195 career games with Charlotte, Dallas, Toronto and New Orleans, averaging 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds. Ajinca, 7-0, 220, came to New Orleans on Dec. 20, 2013, signing as a free agent after spending the previous two seasons overseas. In 124 games (38 starts) with the Pelicans, Ajinca has averaged 6.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks.

Asik, 7-0, 255, who was acquired last off-season in a trade with Houston, appeared in 76 games for New Orleans (all starts) in 2014-15, averaging 7.3 points and 9.8 rebounds, good for 11th highest in the NBA. Additionally, Asik ranked third in the NBA in rebounding percentage at 21.3 percent. Asik led New Orleans in rebounding in 39 games, grabbing double-digit rebounds 36 times, and recorded 13 point-rebound double-doubles.

Originally selected 36th overall by Portland in the 2008 NBA Draft, Asik has appeared in 354 career games with Chicago, Houston and New Orleans, averaging 5.9 points and 7.7 rebounds.

Cunningham, 6-8, 230, was signed by the Pelicans as a free agent on December 4, 2015. In 66 games with New Orleans last season (27 starts), Cunningham averaged 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Originally selected by Portland with the 33rd overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Villanova product has appeared in 432 career games with Portland, Charlotte, Memphis, Minnesota and New Orleans.

Pelicans sign Anthony Davis to contract extension

The New Orleans Pelicans today announced that at 12:01 p.m. local time in Hong Kong, China, All-Star forward Anthony Davis signed a contract extension with the club. According to multiple reports, it is a five-year, $145 million deal.

“Words cannot describe the excitement of the New Orleans Pelicans to have Anthony Davis as the cornerstone of our organization,” said Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps. “Anthony is a great person, a phenomenal player and the ideal representative of his family, the Pelicans and the New Orleans community.

“We are thrilled to have Anthony commit to the Pelicans as we continue to build our team to have sustained success.”

Davis has appeared in 199 games over his first three seasons in the NBA, all with New Orleans, posting career averages of 19.7 points while shooting .525 from the field, 9.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.5 blocks per game. The 6-10 forward currently ranks fifth in New Orleans franchise history in defensive rebounds (1,346) total rebounds (1,891) and steals (264), third in points (3,917), points per game and field goal percentage, second in rebounding average (9.5) and first in blocks (501).

“I am very excited to continue to play for the Pelicans and remain a proud resident of the City of New Orleans,” stated Davis. “I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Benson, Dell Demps, Coach Gentry, the entire Pelicans’ organization, my agent Thad Foucher, my family and, of course, all of the incredible fans for their unwavering support. I look forward to many great years together.”

Originally selected by New Orleans with the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft out of Kentucky, Davis earned All-Rookie First Team honors after appearing in 64 games and averaging 13.5 points on .516 shooting from the floor, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. In 2013-14, the Chicago native appeared in 67 games, averaging 20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds and a league-best 2.8 blocks per game while being named to his first All-Star Game. This past season, 2014-15, Davis, 22, averaged a career-best 24.4 points on .535 shooting from the floor, 10.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game, ranking fourth, seventh, eighth, and first in the NBA in those respective statistical categories. Davis was selected to his second All-Star game, his first as a starter, while earning All-Defensive Second Team and All-NBA First Team honors, and helping New Orleans make their first playoff appearance since 2011. In four post-season games against the Golden State Warriors, Davis averaged 31.5 points on .540 shooting from the floor, 10.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks, becoming the first player in 41 years to average at least 30 points and 10 rebounds through their first four career playoff games.

There’s good news in New Orleans. Anthony Davis recently agreed to a massive contract extension. The team has potential. And fans are on board with it all. Here’s the New Orleans Times Picayune reporting:

Last season the New Orleans Pelicans ranked 24th in the NBA in attendance, which included 24 sellouts announced by the franchise.

Pelicans president Dennis Lauscha said during Tuesday night’s conference call with season-ticket holders that they are on track to do much better next season.

”We’re very pleased and happy to say that we’re now in the top three in the NBA in new tickets sales for the season, Lauscha said. ”We’ve had the highest renewal rate in the history of the franchise, well over 90 percent.”

Lauscha also said they have 55-percent increase for deposits on group tickets than they had at the same time last year.

The New Orleans Pelicans today announced its roster for the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

The Pelicans will hold a mini-camp from July 6-9 at the team’s practice facility in Metairie, La. New Orleans’ first game of the 2015 NBA Summer League is Friday, July 10 against the Milwaukee Bucks, followed by games against the Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets before beginning the single-elimination tournament.

All teams participating in 2015 NBA Summer League are guaranteed to play a minimum of five games. Team will be seeded following the preliminary round, with the top eight seeds receiving a first-round bye.

Full Pelicans 2015 summer league roster is here:

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has traded the draft rights to Branden Dawson to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for cash considerations.

Dawson, 6-6, 225, was the 56th overall selection by New Orleans in the 2015 NBA Draft. The Michigan State product was named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team and Second-Team All-Big Ten as a Senior, averaging 11.9 points and 9.1 rebounds during the campaign.

Alvin Gentry-led teams tend to move fast

The New Orleans Pelicans finished last season with a 45-37 record, and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors, who went on to win the 2015 NBA championship. Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting on how the team may change under new head coach Alvin Gentry:

In the last five years Gentry has finished a season with a team – as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns in 2009-12 and as the associate head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers (2013-14) and Golden State Warriors (2014-15) – his team’s have never ranked lower than 8th in pace and finished first with the Warriors in their NBA title run.

Last year’s Pelicans’ squad finished 16th in the league in scoring averaging 99.4 points per game – the highest mark of Williams’ tenure. Gentry’s teams have led the league in scoring three times in the last six seasons with the Warriors averaging 111.0 points per game a season ago.

One of the things that impressed Pelicans general manager Dell Demps about Gentry was Gentry’s understanding of the Pelicans roster and the willingness to play with a different style in order to succeed in an ever-changing NBA.

“We interviewed a number of candidates, but Alvin talked about all of our players,” Demps said in Monday’s introductory press conference. “He had a great understanding of our team. He had an understanding of how he wanted this team to play. He talked about defense first and how that would make our defense better. I felt like we had a shared vision.

Guard Eric Gordon elects to remain with Pelicans

Eric Gordon exercises contract option to stay with Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that guard Eric Gordon has exercised the one-year player option on his contract for the 2015-16 season.

Gordon, 6-3, 215, appeared in 61 games for the Pelicans last season, averaging 13.4 points while shooting a career-high .448 from three-point range, and helped New Orleans reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2010-11 season. In four seasons in New Orleans, Gordon has averaged 15.4 points while shooting .392 from three-point range, 3.4 assists and 1.0 steals per game.

“I’m really excited to continue playing for the Pelicans,” stated Gordon. “We had a strong finish to last season. And with this core group of young players we have, and with Alvin Gentry’s new leadership and vision, we all expect even bigger things next season.”

Originally selected seventh overall out of Indiana University in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Clippers, Gordon was acquired by New Orleans in a trade on Dec. 14, 2011. In 372 career games with Los Angeles and New Orleans, Gordon holds career averages of 17.4 points on .383 shooting from three-point range, 3.4 assists and 1.7 steals per contest.

“We are thrilled to have Eric Gordon on our roster for the 2015-16 season,” said General Manager Dell Demps. “Eric was a huge contributor to our success last season and we are excited to have him continue as one of the leaders of our team.”

Cole has value, but unclear if his future is in New Orleans

Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting on guard Norris Cole, who split last season between the Heat and Pelicans. After becoming a Pelican he played 28 games, averaging 9.9 points and 3.2 assists in 24.4 minutes per outing:

Will Pelicans, Norris Cole stick together?

Cole established his value as a backup point guard in the old Pelicans’ system, and based on the projected product that new coach Alvin Gentry is expected to unleash, Cole could even be considered a good fit as a starter.

He’ll be a restricted free agent on July 1 and the Pelicans will have the opportunity to match any offer Cole might receive on the open market.

Given the uncertain health of Jrue Holiday over the last two seasons, the Pelicans should jump at the chance to get Cole back, depending, of course, on fiscal prudency.

New Orleans has a critical need for a dependable backup at the one, and in the 28 games Cole played with the Pelicans last year he proved he can handle the job.

Celtics assistant headed to Pelicans

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting some assistant coaching job news:

There are comings and goings on the Celtics staff these days, with assistant coach Darren Erman set to leave to become associate head coach for New Orleans under new leader Alvin Gentry. Also, Alex Barlow, who just completed a four-year playing career at Butler, is joining the C’s as assistant video coordinator.

Said director of player personnel Austin Ainge of Erman, “I know they are in discussions. I don’t know if anything’s final or what, but Erman’s a great guy, and if he does leave, we’ll miss him.”

Erman spent four years with the Celts as a coaching assistant before leaving to work for Golden State as an assistant under former coach Mark Jackson. The Warriors fired him in April 2014 for “violation of company policy.” It was later reported that he was secretly taping conversations between players and coaches.

Once Finals end, Alvin Gentry set to lead Pelicans

Here’s the New Orleans Times Picayune reporting on the Pelicans, who have found their new head coach. Alvin Gentry, currently the top assistant with the Golden State Warriors, will begin with the Pelicans after the conclusion of the upcoming Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals series.

Once Finals end, Alvin Gentry set to lead Pelicans

When the New Orleans Pelicans initiated their extensive coaching search, sources confirmed the franchise was willing to spend up to $4 to $5 million for Monty Williams’ replacement.

But the Pelicans hired Golden State Warriors lead assistant Alvin Gentry at a bargain price after he agreed to a four year, $13.7 million contract on Saturday, a league source confirmed Sunday.

Yahoo sports was the first to report Gentry’s contract terms with the Pelicans on Saturday night.

Gentry’s salary will average $3.4 million a season, which includes a $4 million team option in the final year of the deal. Gentry’s deal is higher than Williams’ $2.7 million per season salary he earned after signing a four-year, $11 million extension in 2012.

Will Jeff Van Gundy return to coaching?

For now, there’s no reason to actually expect a Jeff Van Gundy NBA coaching return. But it seems like a possibility. Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting:

Will Jeff Van Gundy return to coaching?

Jeff Van Gundy declined to acknowledge on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday if he has been contacted by the New Orleans Pelicans for their vacant head-coaching job.

But Van Gundy didn’t make a point to publicly deny his interest in replacing Monty Williams and coaching superstar forward Anthony Davis.

When asked on the show if he would like to coach Davis, Van Gundy said: ”There is no one who ever coached that wouldn’t want to coach a great player with great character. And so I’ve been able to do that in my life. I’ve already coached a player with a great character and you know how important that is if you want to win big in a situation. I had Patrick Ewing, Yao Ming and (Tracy) McGrady in Houston, (Charles) Oakley and all these guys.

”Anybody who that says, nah … I wouldn’t want to coach (Davis) who is a top-five player and a great person, I wouldn’t believe that if someone said that.”

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