WEDNESDAY, 1:31pm: The signing is official, the team announced.
TUESDAY, 2:00pm: The Pelicans will use their hardship exception to sign Orlando Johnson to a 10-day contract, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). He’ll occupy the 16th roster spot the hardship provides as injury relief. It’s no surprise to see Johnson, a 6’5″ shooting guard, get the nod, as Charania linked him to the Pelicans in January and Scott Kushner of The New Orleans Advocate reported minutes ago that the team was looking for a guard.
The contract will be worth $55,722. It’s the second 10-day deal Johnson will have signed with an NBA team this season. Phoenix had him on a 10-day last month, and he saw extensive action in two games, totaling 16 points in 47 minutes, but the Suns retooled their roster at the trade deadline and through the buyout market shortly after Johnson’s deal expired.
So, he returned to the Spurs affiliate in the D-League, the team he’s been with most of the season while averaging 16.0 points in 33.1 minutes per game and draining 46.1% of his 3-point shots. Johnson, who turns 27 on Friday, has yet to display that sort of accuracy at the NBA level, where he’s a career 31.3% shooter from behind the arc in parts of two seasons since becoming the 36th overall pick in 2012.
New Orleans will nonetheless see if he can help on the wing, where Tyreke Evans, Quincy Pondexter and Bryce Dejean-Jones are all lost for the season. Eric Gordon is reportedly undergoing surgery on his broken right ring finger today and the Pelicans fear his season is also through. New Orleans would remain eligible for a 16th roster spot the rest of the way if that’s the case.