With the trade of Ish Smith to the Sixers, the Pelicans roster stood at 14 players, one less than the maximum allowed. After Quincy Pondexter was ruled out for the rest of the season, New Orleans had an opportunity to fill one of their two vacancies with a disability exception since the team is over the 2015-16 cap. However, the deadline date of January 15th has already passed.
Following last night's game against the Timberwolves, the team announced Eric Gordon broke a finger on his shooting hand and will miss 4-6 weeks. Thus, the Pelicans found themselves with only 12 healthy bodies at practice today, that is if one is confident Tyreke Evans' knee will no longer present a problem.
According to reports, Dell Demps has already locked in on one reinforcement, Bryce Dejean-Jones, at least in the interim.
Source confirms #Pelicans have signed Bryce DeJean-Jones to a 10-day contract.— Scott Kushner (@ScottDKushner) January 20, 2016
Fans should remember the name well. Jones appeared on the Pelicans 2015 Summer League team and was then a participant in training camp. He represented himself well, proving to be one of the most efficient scorers in Las Vegas and then followed that up with a statistically strong exhibition season.
Although he was waived in late October, it appears Dell Demps kept him on his radar and for good reason. In 9 games in the NBDL, he averaged 19.2 points, 2.2 threes, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals a game. Once again, the advanced statistics were fans. He sported a healthy 19.5 PER, and possessed a strong usage (26.7%) without an excessive amount of turnovers (11.5%). He was only 1 of 3 players on the Idado Stampede with a positive net rating and only 1 of 2 with a pace factor over 100.
Since the Pelicans season went south and roster spots have started opening, I've been hoping for several things. One, Demps keep space available for trade purposes (as sellers, the Pelicans need to offer flexibility) Two, to take a chance on some young talent from the D-League as the Sixers did last season with Robert Covington.
While it appears the first wish is still in play, the second came true. I've had my eye on Dejean-Jones again since he signed a D-League contract, and by the numbers he has not disappointed. Hopefully, Jones makes another positive impact in New Orleans (think in practices because it's highly unlikely he'll see notably game minutes on a short-term contract). However, if the Pelicans do indeed fall out of the playoff race, he could find himself on the season-ending roster, and hopefully having sprinkled in some good revealing minutes in-between.