Pelicans Sign Sindarius Thornwell As Substitute Player

6:25pm: Miller has been officially ruled out as he continues his rehab from right Achilles surgery, ESPN’s Andrew Lopez tweets.

1:04pm: The Pelicans have officially signed free agent guard Sindarius Thornwell for the rest of the season as a substitute player, the team announced today in a press release.

Thornwell, 25, was selected with the 48th overall pick in the 2017 draft and spent the first two years of his professional career with the Clippers. He appeared in 137 total games for Los Angeles, averaging 2.5 PPG and 1.3 RPG on .415/.342/.689 shooting in a limited role (10.7 MPG).

After being waived by the Clippers last July, Thornwell spent the 2019/20 season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League, averaging 9.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 4.5 APG in 40 games (28.9 MPG). The 6’5″ guard is considered a strong perimeter defender.

It remains to be seen which player on the Pelicans roster is being replaced by Thornwell. According to Christian Clark of (Twitter link), swingman Darius Miller isn’t traveling to Orlando with the team due to his ongoing Achilles recovery, but an injured player like Miller isn’t eligible to be replaced by a substitute player.

At this point, a substitute player can only be signed to replace a player who voluntarily opts out of the NBA’s restart or who has tested positive for COVID-19. No Pelicans players have announced they plan to opt out, but three tested positive for the coronavirus in June. We’ll have to wait for further updates to confirm which player is being replaced by Thornwell and why — the player in question will be ineligible to return this season.

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