The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with veteran point guard Nate Robinson. Marc Stein of ESPN was first in reporting the signing with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, confirming the details of the contract.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 15, 2015
Robinson, 31, is a 10-year veteran of the NBA. The Pelicans are currently in need of some back court help as several of the Pelicans’ guards are dealing with injuries.
Jrue Holiday is reportedly playing with restrictions, according to NBA.com. Coach Alvin Gentry said ” our whole goal is just to keep him healthy,” in reference to Holiday. Despite his progress, it is clear the team will be cautious. Also, Norris Cole could miss up to six weeks with an ankle sprain, per a separate report from NBA.com.
In addition to Robinson, the Pelicans signed guard Bo McCalebb as an insurance policy, per Nola.com. While McCalebb has enjoyed a successful professional career in Europe, the 30-year-old has never played in the NBA. With Robinson’s experience, the Pelicans will likely give the former New York Knicks guard to make the team.
After a strong rookie season in which the 5’9 Robinson won the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star weekend, Robinson received both praise and criticism for his style of play. However, after posting 17.2 PPG and 4.1 APG through 74 games in 2008-09 — the best statistical season of Robinson’s career — he was traded to the Boston Celtics in February of 2010, per NBA.com.
A three-time Dunk Contest winner at the time of the trade, Robinson had established himself as one of more flashy players in the game. But, several arguments with then-head coach of the Knicks Mike d’Antoni also somewhat hindered Robinson’s reputation, via New York Post.
It also seemed that he was no longer the player he showed he was capable of being in New York.
Struggling to score at the rate he previously demonstrated, Robinson did not get much playing time in Boston. The next season, he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. But, after only playing in four games with the Thunder, the team waived Robinson.
Debemos recordar que no hace tanto, uno de los nombres propios de estos PlayOffs, Nate Robinson, fue jugador Thunder pic.twitter.com/Eh9sxNu69Q
— Thunder Spain (@OKCSpain) May 7, 2013
The next stop for Robinson came with the Golden State Warriors in 2011-12. It was his best season since leaving New York as he averaged 11.2 PPG and 4.5 APG in 51 games. In the offseason, Robinson elected to sign with the Chicago Bulls and attempt to bring his scoring ability to the Windy City. He did just that. In 82 games (23 starts), Robinson averaged 13.1 PPG and 4.4 APG.
That 2012-2013 season allowed Robinson to parlay his performance into a two-year deal with the Denver Nuggets, per NBA.com. After inking that contract, Robinson expressed his excitement in joining the Nuggets in an exclusive interview with SB Nation’s Denver Stiffs.
“I’m an energy guy. I feed off everybody’s energy. I know the crowd, every time we played here; the crowd has always been into the game. You got the Manimal [Kenneth Faried] that can run and jump, you got Ty Lawson that’s quick, and you got a lot of guys on this team that are energy guys and I love playing with energy guys because it makes you play even harder.”
Robinson’s first season in Denver did not go as planned, as he appeared in just 44 games and averaged just 10.1 PPG. Last season, Robinson appeared in 42 total games. After playing in 33 games with Denver, Robinson was traded to the Celtics for a second time but reached a buyout agreement.
The Los Angeles Clippers signed Robinson to a pair of 10-days contracts but ultimately deemed that Robinson was not worth a guaranteed spot on the roster. He finished 2014-15 averaging just 5.7 PPG.
Now, Robinson will attempt to latch on as a contributor for the Pelicans. However, the Pelicans currently have 20 players on their roster, which is the maximum total allowed during the preseason. Thus, a move will need to be made to add Robinson to the team.
[Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]