Pelicans Finalizing Multiyear Deal With Didi Louzada

The Pelicans are finalizing a multiyear agreement with draft-and-stash guard/forward Didi Louzada, according to a report from ESPN’s Olgun Uluc and Andrew Lopez.

Louzada, who most recently played in Australia with the Sydney Kings, was acquired by New Orleans with the No. 35 pick in the 2019 NBA draft. He averaged 8.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 24.1 minutes in 20 contests with Sydney this season, shooting 39% from the field and 26% from behind the arc.

The 21-year-old Louzada stands at 6’5″ and can play the shooting guard and small forward positions. The Pelicans have until April 27 to sign another player after allowing Isaiah Thomas‘ 10-day contract expire on Monday, Uluc and Lopez note — teams are permitted to dip below the NBA’s required minimum of 14 players (not counting two-ways), but only for up to two weeks at a time.

The Pelicans haven’t touched their mid-level exception this year, so they’ll be able to use it to sign Louzada to a contract longer than two years. His cap hit for 2020/21 can be as low as the prorated rookie minimum, which is good news for a club looking to stay below the tax line.

New Orleans holds a 25-32 record, having put forth inconsistent defensive efforts this season. The club trails the No. 10 place Spurs by three games with roughly one month left in the season, losing a disappointing 122-112 game to New York on Sunday.

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