The Pelicans are not having much luck these days with NBA centers. In the team's first preseason game, Alexis Ajinca pulled a groin muscle and it was reported he'd miss the following 4-6 weeks. Days later, it was announced Omer Asik had a right calf strain and would be unavailable for at least the next 3 weeks. On Friday morning, there was word New Orleans would bring in Greg Smith; however later that same day, it was disclosed he had failed his physical examination.
According to Marc Spears today, Dell Demps has now set his sights on Jerome Jordan. Although he's 29 years old, he has played a mere total of 491 minutes in the NBA. He spent time with the Brooklyn Nets last season and averaged 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in under 9 minutes of action per game.
As expected, he has joined the Pelicans on an unguaranteed contract and will have an opportunity to make the team, but the odds are stacked against him. The main reason he was brought in was for the team to have enough competition at the center position. Currently, the only healthy bodies are Kendrick Perkins and Jeff Adrien, another unguaranteed player.
It is well known that during training camp and preseason, NBA teams like to have at least 15 healthy bodies. Exhibition games are much sparser on the schedule than during the regular season so teams rely on getting most of their work done in practice. At a minimum, it is crucial to field 3 teams for competitive purposes as well as to not push the regular rotation players too much.
With Asik, Ajinca and Quincy Pondexter sidelined and Jrue Holiday severely limited, the Pelicans had only 14 unrestricted players available. Signing Jerome Jordan gives New Orleans their 15th healthy player. Sure, there is an outside chance he impresses, and if the Pelicans so choose, they could add him to the regular season roster. However, I wouldn't bet on it.