2:39pm: The Pelicans are working on securing a visa for Mekel, and the team thinks it will be able to do so, tweets Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune.
2:24pm: The Pelicans are in “advanced discussions” with free agent point guard Gal Mekel, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The club has identified the former Maverick as its primary target after working out other point guards, including Diante Garrett and Eric Maynor, Stein adds in a second tweet. No visa issues are expected for Mekel this time after such problems scuttled a deal he had in place to join the Pacers last month, since the Pelicans aren’t under a time crunch to sign him, as the Pacers were with a hardship exception that was expiring, Stein also reports (Twitter link).
New Orleans has an open roster spot after waiving Patric Young and Darius Miller on Sunday and inking Dante Cunningham earlier this afternoon. GM Dell Demps and his staff have reportedly been aggressive in trade talk as the December 15th trade-eligibility date for most offseason signees nears, but it appears their first priority is to scour the market for free agents who can add depth. Mekel played sparingly in his first season with the Mavs, but the Thunder liked him, and the Lakers recently auditioned him along with several other players.
Mekel, now 26, joined the Mavs in 2013 after putting up 13.3 points, 5.4 assists and 2.5 turnovers in 32.3 minutes per game during 2012/13 for Maccabi Haifa in his native Israel. He inked a fully guaranteed three-year contract for the minimum salary to come stateside, but Dallas ate the salaries for the final two years to instead sign J.J. Barea shortly after opening night.