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2016 NBA Free Agency: Alonzo Gee finalizing 1-year contract to return to New Orleans Pelicans

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Gee turned down a player option last month worth almost $1.4 million, but he should remain in the same $$$ neighborhood with new deal.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

According to Shams Charania, Alonzo Gee will be back in a New Orleans Pelicans uniform for the 2016-17 season. Gee had opted out back on June 29th, but apparently he had failed to secure a more lucrative contract with 1 of the other 29 teams.

In 72 games last season, Gee averaged 4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.9 steals. He started 38 games for the Pelicans but was likely thrust into a larger role with the team due to the numerous injuries.

With Quincy Pondexter sidelined for the entire year, the lack of dependable offensive production from the small forward position was noticeable when Gee or Dante Cunningham received significant minutes on the wing. This was especially true when Omer Asik shared the floor at the same time.

The Pelicans have spent the entire summer combing free agency for high character players who take great pride on the defensive side of the ball. Gee posted the team's second best defensive rating (104.1) during the 2015-16 season. That, combined with his friendship with Anthony Davis, Gee's return shouldn't be viewed as entirely surprising.