There’s a familiar pattern that usually plays out whenever someone on a 10-day contract makes enough of an impression for his team to keep him around. The team signs him to a second 10-day contract within a few days of the expiration of the first, in most such cases. The same is true if a team decides to keep the player for the balance of the season, as a deal typically follows in quick succession. But, as we saw with the Pelicans and Toney Douglas, who wound up with a rest-of-season deal Tuesday after the team had seemingly moved on from him, that’s not always the case.
Douglas signed the first of his two 10-day contracts with the Pelicans on February 4th, and while the Pelicans took a few days after it expired to sign him to 10-day deal No. 2 on February 18th, that wasn’t really out of the ordinary. However, the Pelicans terminated that second 10-day deal the very next day as they swung a pair of trade deadline swaps. They emerged from deadline day with an open roster spot, but instead of re-signing Douglas, they picked up Elliot Williams on a 10-day contract, and signed him to another the day after the first expired. The day after that second 10-day deal for Williams expired, the Pelicans gave out a deal for the rest of the season — not to Williams, but to Douglas, who had been off the roster for more than a month.
The team has reportedly decided against signing Williams to a deal that covers the balance of 2014/15, even though the Pelicans still have an open roster spot following the Douglas deal. It’s unclear what led New Orleans to make such a move, but it’s not unprecedented. Holdups have stalled but not prevented deals involving a few other 10-day signees across the NBA this season. Hoops Rumors learned that a desire to retain flexibility for a possible trade kept the Heat from signing Tyler Johnson to a second 10-day contract for a week after his first one expired. There was no such delay when Miami re-signed him to a multiyear deal the day after his second 10-day pact was up. The specter of would-be trades appeared to hold sway when the Grizzlies waited to sign JaMychal Green for a week after his first 10-day contract with the team expired. He signed his second on February 19th, the day of the trade deadline, and inked a multiyear pact of his own shortly after the second 10-day expired. A similar dynamic was seemingly at play with James McAdoo, who signed his second 10-day contract with the Warriors on February 2nd, just a few days after his first had expired. He, like Green, signed his next contract, a multiyear deal, on the day of the deadline.
An injury concern was apparent as the Clippers hesitated to re-sign Jordan Hamilton when his second 10-day deal was up, but the team ultimately gave him a multiyear deal after he languished for five days. There was a much larger gap between the first and second 10-day contracts Jack Cooley signed with the Jazz. Utah signed Jerrelle Benimon to a 10-day contract in between the time of Cooley’s deals, much as the Pelicans turned to Williams while Douglas was away. The day after Benimon’s deal expired, Cooley was back with the Jazz. Today’s the final day of Cooley’s second 10-day deal, so we’ll soon find out whether there’ll be another gap.