Pelicans Convert Liddell’s Two-Way Contract To Three-Year Deal

5:59pm: The signing is now official, according to NBA’s transactions log.

5:37pm: The Pelicans are signing forward E.J. Liddell to a new three-year, $6,224,049, with a team option in the third season, Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic tweets.

Liddell is having his two-way contract converted to a standard one. He suffered a torn right ACL in summer league last summer.

Liddell, a 6’6” forward, was the 41st pick in the 2022 draft out of Ohio State. Liddell occupied one of the Pelicans’ two-way slots last season despite his inability to play.

As The Athletic’s John Hollinger points out (Twitter link), handing Liddell a standard contract actually helps New Orleans in terms of the luxury tax. It’s cheaper for the Pelicans to give Liddell a minimum deal than signing another player on a veteran’s minimum to fill their 14th roster spot.

Liddell will return to action on Friday night when he returns to Las Vegas for the New Orleans Pelicans’ summer league opener, Rod Walker of the New Orleans Times Picayune reports.

“Wooh, lot of nerves,” Liddell said. “If you see me smiling, a lot of nerves. But just know (I’m) super excited to be out there.”

During a 2021/22 NCAA season in which he was named a Third Team All-American, an All-Big Ten First Teamer, and a Big Ten All-Defensive Team honoree, Liddell averaged 19.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.5 BPG and 2.5 APG for the Buckeyes.

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