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Pelicans Notes: Cole, Asik, Ajinca, Cunningham

Pelicans GM Dell Demps said this week that the versatility of his roster from this past season factored into his decision to bring back much of the same cast, as John Reid of The Times Picayune chronicles. New Orleans has signed four of its seven free agents, and Reid hears the Pelicans remain interested in re-signing restricted free agent Norris Cole.

”We believe our team can play big, we can play small and we can play fast,” Demps said. ”We feel like we can play a number of different ways. The guys like each other, they like playing with each other and their skills complement each other.”

Demps said the limited number of games that involved the entire core of the team, which again was without Jrue Holiday for nearly half the season, was another reason why he wanted to keep the roster largely intact, Reid notes, and that echoes similar statements Demps made last year. Here’s more from New Orleans:

  • The full value of Omer Asik‘s deal is $58MM, but only the first four years, at $44MM, are guaranteed, Reid writes. “In our division, you are playing a number of teams with very good post players,” Demps said. ”Omer gives us the opportunity to match up against certain teams. Omer is an elite rebounder and has been throughout his NBA career.”
  • The precise value of the cap hits across the four seasons in Alexis Ajinca‘s new contract with the Pelicans comes to $19,500,002, though incentive clauses are liable to change that figure over the course of the pact, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).
  • Dante Cunningham will make exactly $8,934,750 on his new deal with the Pelicans, according to Pincus (Twitter link).

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