E’Twaun Moore, who was one of the first players to commit when free agency began July 1st, chose the Pelicans because he wanted a team where he could make a difference, relays Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. After being with three teams in his first five seasons, the combo guard now has the security of a four-year, $34MM contract with New Orleans. “I definitely wanted to play more minutes and make an impact, helping my team win,” Moore said. “And they’re a team that is, of course, going in a positive direction. They’re a team that’s trying to win. They have a good group of guys; they made the playoffs two years ago and I think they would have made it last year if it weren’t for all the injuries. I think we can get back into playoff contention and that’s another reason I signed.” Moore has a chance to compete for a starting job in the Pelicans’ backcourt with Eric Gordon gone to Houston.
There’s more tonight from the Southwest Division:
- Shawn Dawson understands the odds as he competes for a roster spot with the Pelicans, tweets Brett Dawson of The New Orleans Advocate. The Israeli swingman accepted a camp invitation from New Orleans earlier this month. “They explained the whole situation,” he said. “I know that it’s a tough situation to get a contract when there’s 15 guaranteed already, but things happen. I believe in myself and I feel they like me. I know that they like me.”
- After signing a $118MM extension with the Rockets this summer, James Harden has organized a players-only minicamp for next week, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston. It’s the second year for the camp, and teammate Corey Brewer said it’s a sign that Harden has accepted the role of team leader. “He’s the franchise player,” Brewer said. “He signed the extension. So it’s his team, and he’s doing all the right things to do what we need to do to have a chance to win championships.”
- The Mavericks concentrated on youth during the offseason, notes The Vertical’s Bobby Marks. After age seemed to be a problem in the playoff loss to the Thunder, Dallas brought in Harrison Barnes , Seth Curry , Quincy Acy  and A.J. Hammons  to join Dwight Powell  and Justin Anderson .