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New Orleans Pelicans sign free agent guard Archie Goodwin

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Lance Stephenson will reportedly be waived to make roster room.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans will sign Archie Goodwin according to recent reports by The Vertical’s Shams Charania. Goodwin, a 22 year old guard previously with the Phoenix Suns, was waived just before opening day. He was drafted with the 29th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder but was traded on draft night and has spent all three seasons of his career in Phoenix.

Goodwin possesses an interesting set of tools as a 6’5” combo guard with a massive 6’9.5” wingspan and some impressive athleticism to boot. In his second-to-last regular season game with the Suns he dropped 24 points with 3 rebounds and 3 assists against the undermanned D-League Pelicans on April 10th to end last season. That last impression may have stuck in the minds of the New Orleans front office.

Details on the contract are not yet reported, but I would expect very little of the final amount is guaranteed. This is a low risk move for a Pelicans team who needs to hit on more than a couple of such moves to get going in the right direction. Note that while Goodwin has already logged three seasons in the NBA, he was born in August 1994, making him eight months younger than rookie Buddy Hield.

As far as Goodwin’s immediate impact, it would be foolish to expect a lot. While he is young, he was also available and not under contract to begin the season. Thus far in his career Goodwin is shooting 22.7% behind the arc with more turnovers (192) than assists (182). The physical tools are there to be a good defender but the execution has been less than ideal over his nearly 2,182 NBA minutes. There’s a chance he figures it out because he is very young but the evidence beyond sporadic highlights, physical tools, and the promise of youth is limited and primarily negative.

That said, there are certainly minutes available in the Pelicans back court rotation until Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans return to the court. New Orleans is capitalizing to an extent on Lance Stephenson’s injury to get a look at a young guard with plenty of unrealized potential. If they do hit, that second year of Archie Goodwin (probably at the minimum) is going to be an absolute bargain and if he can’t follow through on his potential the damage will likely be completely insignificant.