The New Orleans Pelicans have spent most of the summer with just three guards on their roster but that has recently changed.
The Times-Picayune reported that the Pelicans have signed undrafted rookie free agent Bryce Dejean-Jones to a three-year, partially-guaranteed contract. According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, New Orleans used some of their mid-level exception money to sign Dejean-Jones.
New Orleans Pelicans dipped into MLE to sign Bryce Dejan-Jones to a 3-yr minimum contact, only $50k guaranteed this season @BBallInsiders— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) August 21, 2015
Dejean-Jones apparently piqued New Orleans interest enough with his summer league performance to secure a deal. The six-foot, six-inch shooting guard shot the lights out in his six Las Vegas summer league games with the Pelicans, making 61.9 percent of his shots (26-of-42) and 50.0 percent of his three-point attempts (9-of-18). Dejean-Jones finished second on the team in scoring with 12.8 points a game.
Dejean-Jones reached double-figures in three of his six summer league games and topped the 20-point plateau twice. He tallied 26 points, on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, against Brooklyn on July 13, and then had a 25-point performance against Phoenix on July 19, as he was 8-of-12 from the field, and 4-of-5 from long-distance.
Dejean-Jones is potent with the ball in his hands — he has the ability to score a number of ways. In addition to his prowess on the perimeter, he can get to the hoop off the dribble, score in transition, and knock down mid-range shots on a consistent basis.
Dejean-Jones played collegiately at Iowa State and averaged 10.5 points along with 4.7 rebounds as a senior last year. He also spent time at USC and UNLV.
With Dejean-Jones in tow, the Pelicans now have 13 players under contract with 12 players having fully-guaranteed contracts. Dejean-Jones appears to have a good chance of making the squad even if the team signs a few more players as the Pelicans don’t own their D-League franchise.
Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, and Eric Gordon are currently the other guards on the Pelicans roster. Quincy Pondexter, Luke Babbitt, Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Dante Cunningham, Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca, and Kendrick Perkins are the other players on the team’s roster.
So, why does New Orleans only have 13 players under contract?
It is not like the Pelicans haven’t tried to sign other players. New Orleans pursued Seth Curry, Larry Drew II, and Jason Terry but they were not able to secure a deal. Curry decided to sign with the Sacramento Kings, Drew is going to play in France with AS Monoco, and Terry chose to return to Houston.
Fox Sports believes that Norris Cole will eventually sign with the Pelicans as he is a restricted free agent, therefore, the team can match any offer. Cole has also reportedly drawn interest from Philadelphia and New York.
[Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images]