Eric Bledsoe‘s season has gone from bad to worse, as Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune details. Bledsoe admitted he “wasn’t paying attention” to Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy when the team was instructed to intentionally foul while up by three points against the Knicks in the closing seconds last Sunday. That led to a game-tying 3-pointer. He was benched for a good portion of the second half against Brooklyn on Tuesday, then saw action in 22 minutes against Orlando on Thursday.
Attempts to unload Bledsoe’s contract could prove troublesome for New Orleans. He’ll make a guaranteed $18.1MM next season, though his $19.375MM salary for 2022/23 is only partially guaranteed.
We have more from the Southwest Division:
- Didi Louzada‘s contract with the Pelicans is expected to be a two-year deal and he’ll sign it sometime next week, Will Guillory of The Athletic tweets. Louzada, a second-round pick in 2019, most recently played in Australia with the Sydney Kings. The news that the swingman was signing with New Orleans broke on Sunday. He averaged 8.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 24.1 MPG in 20 contests with Sydney this season, shooting 39% from the field and 26% from behind the arc.
- Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis left Thursday’s game against the Lakers with a sprained left ankle but it’s not believed to be serious, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Porzingis, who was playing the second end of a back to back, rolled the ankle while pursuing a loose ball in the third quarter. He was walking in the locker room afterward.
- Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. made his long-awaited season debut on Wednesday and looked sharp. He had 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in 18 minutes during a 12-point loss to the Clippers. He was relieved to finally play after rehabbing from knee surgery, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk writes. “This is a big win,” he said. “It’s been a long stretch for me.”