Pelicans Rumors

Pistons Claim Christian Wood

The Pistons have claimed Christian Wood off waivers, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Wood, who has a partial guarantee on his salary that takes effect opening night, was waived Monday by the Pelicans. The power forward/center would be guaranteed $822,679 on his $1,645,357 salary for next season if he remained on the roster for the first game. The full salary won’t be guaranteed until January 10, when all league contracts become guaranteed.

Detroit inherits that contract with the successful waiver claim. The Pistons now have 17 players on their roster with 14 guaranteed contracts – according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link) – and are $223K below the luxury tax.

Wood, 23, is no stranger to the waiver wire. New Orleans claimed him in March after the Bucks let him go. He played just eight games for the Pelicans, but averaged 16.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per night. He has also had brief stays with the Sixers and Hornets since entering the league.

And-Ones: Pacers, Favors, Zhou, Teodosic

The Pacers were thrilled to see Goga Bitadze still available when the team picked at No. 18, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star relays. The scribe hears that many within the league were surprised Bitadze was still available at that spot. However, several executives told Michael that had they been running the Pacers, they wouldn’t have taken the center unless they planned on trading either Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis.

Most of the executives Michael spoke to believe that if the team decides to trade either Turner and Sabonis, the latter will be the one to go. Turner is entering the first season of a four-year, $80MM contract, while Sabonis is entering the last year of his rookie deal.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Pelicans were Derrick Favors‘ preferred destination once it was clear the Jazz were moving him, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets. Utah needed to trade Favors in order to accommodate the Bojan Bogdanovic signing.
  • Former Rockets center Zhou Qi plans to play in Europe next season, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Zhou has not yet picked a team.
  • Milos Teodosic will make slightly over $5MM during his three-year contract with Virtus Bologna, Carchia passes along in a separate piece. Teodosic last played for the Clippers during this past season.

Pelicans Notes: Hart, Ball, Ingram, Melli

Josh Hart spoke with EVP of basketball operations David Griffin shortly after the Anthony Davis, pleading with the executive not to trade him, as he wanted to play for the Pelicans. During a press conference today that introduced Hart, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, Griffin said that it “meant a lot” to the team to have players who were “equally committed” to the franchise.

“We’re deep with selfless winners,” Griffin said (via Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register). “We’re deep with selfless high-character guys who wanna play any role they need to.”

Rival teams have called the Pelicans about all three former Lakers, according to Griffin, but the franchise has turned down inquiries for each player. The front office feels the trio can be part of the team’s future.

Here’s more from New Orleans:

  • Ball said it was “tough” dealing with trade rumors last season but he learned to deal with those distractions and others while playing in Los Angeles, Will Guillory of The Athletic relays on Twitter. Ball added that he’s excited to get back to playing the style of basketball he’s accustomed to.
  • Ingram said he is “pretty close” to resuming regular basketball activities, as ESPN relays. Ingram is recovering from surgery on his right arm that was performed to address a blood clot. Ingram added that he hasn’t played basketball since March. “I’m eager to pick up a basketball,” the forward added (via Guillory’s Twitter feed).
  • Nicolo Melli, who signed with the Pelicans this offseason, underwent knee surgery this offseason, Emiliano Carchia of Sportnado passes along. Melli agreed to sign with New Orleans via the room exception.

J.J. Redick Signs Two-Year Deal With Pelicans

JULY 15, 517pm: Redick’s contract signing is official, according to a team press release.

JUNE 30, 5:03pm: The Pelicans have reached an agreement with veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that Redick will sign a two-year, $26.5MM deal with the club.

It’s a savvy addition for a Pelicans club that looks more intriguing by the day. While the team has added a boatload of talent so far this offseason – including Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes, Lonzo Ball, and Brandon Ingram – the roster was still lacking in floor-spacers. Redick will provide that spacing in spades.

Redick, who is entering his age-35 season, is a career 41.3% shooter from beyond the three-point line. Last season in Philadelphia, he averaged a career-best 18.1 PPG and knocked down a career-high 3.2 threes per game at a 39.7% rate.

While the Sixers will lose Redick, they’ve recovered nicely tonight, agreeing to terms with Al Horford and setting up a sign-and-trade deal involving Jimmy Butler that will send Josh Richardson to Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, the Pelicans still have cap room after committing to Redick, but appear set to use most of the rest of it to acquire Derrick Favors from Utah.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pelicans Waive Christian Wood

The Pelicans have waived power forward/center Christian Wood, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Wood had a non-guaranteed $1,645,357 salary, of which $822,679 would have become guaranteed if he was on the opening-day roster. The Pelicans now have 13 players with fully guaranteed contracts and two others with non- or partial guarantees.

The Bucks waived Wood in March and the Pelicans claimed him. Wood saw spot duty in 13 games with Milwaukee. He played eight games with New Orleans, including two starts, and averaged 16.9 PPG and 7.9 RPG.

By letting go of Wood, New Orleans opens up a spot for Italian power forward Nicolo Melli, who agreed to a two-year contact in late June.

No Word Yet On Kenrich Williams' Partial Guarantee

  • The other players with guarantee dates today, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link), are Damyean Dotson (Knicks) and Kenrich Williams (Pelicans). A report in early July indicated that the Knicks will hang onto Dotson and guarantee his $1,618,520 salary. There have been no updates one way or the other on Williams, who would get a $200K partial guarantee if he’s not released today.

Trade Details: Napier, Graham, Warriors, Pacers, More

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has provided some additional details on one of the most interesting trade sequences of the offseason, filling in the blanks on the deals that sent Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham from Brooklyn to Golden State to Minnesota.

As previously outlined by cap guru Albert Nahmad (Twitter link), in order to match salaries in their sign-and-trade deal for Kevin Durant ($38,199,000), the Nets had to send out $30,479,200 in salaries of their own, but D’Angelo Russell‘s maximum salary was only worth $27,285,000.

Brooklyn included Napier’s ($1,845,301) and Graham’s ($1,645,357) non-guaranteed contracts to make up that $3,194,200 difference, but had to partially guarantee those salaries in order for them to count for salary-matching purposes. According to Pincus (via Twitter), the Nets did so by giving each player a guarantee worth $1,597,100.

The hard-capped Warriors, who only took on the duo in order to acquire Russell, didn’t want those contracts on their books, so they flipped them to the Timberwolves in a separate trade. According to Pincus (via Twitter), Golden State paid $3.6MM in cash to Minnesota in that deal, more than enough to cover both players’ full salaries and make it worth the Wolves’ while (Napier’s and Graham’s combined salaries total $3.5MM for 2019/20).

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Offseason Trades]

Interestingly, teams are limited to sending out a total of $5,617,000 in cash in trades during the 2019/20 league year, and the Warriors have now sent out $3.6MM to Minnesota and $2MM to Memphis (in the Andre Iguodala deal). In other words, Golden State won’t have the ability to send out additional cash later in the season in another trade.

Here are more details on recent trades:

  • In the three-way trade that landed them T.J. Warren from Phoenix and three future second-round picks from Miami, the Pacers sent $1.1MM in cash to the Suns, per Pincus (Twitter link).
  • The Clippers sent $110K to the Heat in the four-team Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade deal, says Pincus (Twitter link). That small amount of cash – the minimum allowable in a trade – was the only outgoing piece for the Clips in a swap that landed them Maurice Harkless, the Heat’s lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick (later included in the Paul George package), and the draft rights to 2017 second-rounder Mathias Lessort.
  • In addition to getting $1.1MM from the Wizards in their three-team Anthony Davis trade, the Pelicans also received $1MM in cash from the Lakers, tweets Pincus. Pincus also notes that Washington used its trade exception from February’s Markieff Morris trade to take on Bonga’s $1.42MM salary. That exception was originally worth $8.6MM and was also used to acquire Davis Bertans ($7MM), so it has essentially been all used up.

Pelicans Offer Jeff Bzdelik Spot On Gentry's Staff

After being let go by the Rockets this spring, veteran assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik is generating significant interest from one of Houston’s division rivals. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link), The Pelicans have offered a spot on Alvin Gentry‘s coaching staff to Bzdelik, who is weighing his options after leaving Houston.

While nothing has been finalized yet, David Aldridge of The Athletic suggests (via Twitter) that Bzdelik and the Pelicans are “close” to a deal. The longtime NBA and college coach, who previously had a stint as Denver’s head coach is one of the most highly-regarded defensive coordinators in the league, as both Stein and Aldridge note.

If the Pelicans finalize an agreement with Bzdelik, he could step into the role vacated by former assistant Darren Erman, who recently left the club’s coaching staff.

Pelicans Waive Dairis Bertans

4:27pm: Bertans’ release is now official, per NBA.com’s transactions log. According to Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link), the 29-year-old has already reached an agreement to sign with Russian club Khimki.

3:04pm: According to his agent, Arturs Kalnitis (Twitter link), the Pelicans will waive guard Dairis Bertans. Per Kalnitis’ tweet, it appears unlikely that Bertans will be claimed off waivers by another NBA team.

The news isn’t entirely unexpected, as the Pelicans would have had 17 players on standard contracts after the team’s trade for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart, reported trade for Derrick Favors, and reported signings of J.J. Redick, Darius Miller, and Nicolo Melli all came through.

Teams are permitted to have as many as 20 players on their roster during the offseason, but the Pelicans didn’t have the necessary cap space to sign Redick and trade for Favors without trimming some salary from their roster. By waiving Bertans, the Pelicans now figure to be able to complete those two deals, depending on the value of the first-year salary of Redick’s new contract.

Based on my math, the Pelicans can sign Redick to a starting salary of $12,853,641 after waiving Bertans (assuming Melli is signed with the room exception). With standard 5% raises, the total value of Redick’s contract would be just under $26.35MM, which is in line with the reported $26.5MM value.

As for Bertans, the 29-year-old Latvian will likely return to Europe after his one-year stay in the NBA, where he averaged 2.8 PPG in 12 games with the Pelicans.