The Pelicans traded for Tyshawn Taylor on Wednesday, receiving cash that will be enough to cover his one-year veteran’s minimum salary in exchange for only a European prospect who isn’t likely to play in the NBA. It’s a sweetheart deal that would have been difficult for New Orleans to turn down, and it seems the club isn’t really that sold on Taylor. John Reid of The Times Picayune suggests the Pelicans could buy him out, pointing to comments from coach Monty Williams that indicate Taylor might not have a role on the team.
Taylor has already received about half of his $788,872 salary. As long as he doesn’t agree to a buyout worth nearly the entire amount remaining on his contract, which expires at season’s end, such a severance could be a financial plus for the Jeff Schwartz client if he quickly finds other NBA work. Taylor, the 41st overall pick in 2012, saw 11.7 minutes per game in 23 appearances for the Nets this season, and though he put up a discouraging 5.6 PER in that time, there’s at least a decent chance another team would take a flier on him.
The Pelicans are without starting point guard Jrue Holiday, so Taylor could provide them depth. Still, the injury-riddled team is also missing Ryan Anderson and Jason Smith, and New Orleans is reportedly trying to trade for a big man, and waiving Taylor would open up room on the roster that would make it easier to add an interior player. The Pelicans are currently at the 15-man limit. They could also use an open roster spot to sign Pierre Jackson, the D-League’s leading scorer. New Orleans acquired Jackson’s NBA rights on draft night.