WEDNESDAY, 1:14pm: The deal is official, the Pelicans announced via press release.
MONDAY, 8:27am: The Pelicans and former Bucks swingman D.J. Stephens have reached agreement on a deal for training camp, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). It’ll have to be a minimum-salary deal for the one-year veteran, since the sliver of the mid-level exception that New Orleans has left is only enough for the team to exceed the minimum for a rookie. It’s not clear whether there’s any guaranteed money involved.
The 23-year-old was set to work out for Utah earlier this month, but it appears he’ll wind up in New Orleans instead. Stephens appeared in three games for Milwaukee on a 10-day contract last spring, scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds in a total of 15 minutes. He saw significantly more playing time overseas last season after going undrafted out of Memphis in 2013, averaging 8.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in 23.8 minutes per game in 25 combined games with Ilisiakos BC of Greece and Anadolu Efes of Turkey.
New Orleans had been carrying 18 players, so the addition of Stephens leaves room for one more player to join the team in advance of Tuesday’s start of camp. A dozen Pelicans have fully guaranteed deals and three more are on partially guaranteed arrangements, and the team has Dionte Christmas, Kevin Jones and Vernon Macklin on non-guaranteed pacts, making it tough to see a clear path to opening night for Stephens.