Shams Charania of The Vertical reported minutes ago that Jameer Nelson, recently released by the Denver Nuggets, has agreed to a one year contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. While financial information has not yet been reported considering the Pelicans proximity to the hard cap it’s almost a lock that this is for the minimum.
Free agent guard Jameer Nelson has agreed on a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 21, 2017
New Orleans currently has 15 players under contract. While they should be approved for a injury exception to gain a 16th roster spot as Bobby Marks of ESPN mentions the team would have to wait until October 24th to sign Nelson. The alternative is to waive a player (read Jordan Crawford) to get Nelson onto the roster immediately.
Dell Demps and the Pelicans were not the only teams pursuing Jameer Nelson as both the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder were also interested according the Charania’s report. Ultimately the Pelicans ability to offer immediate playing time and a connection with current assistant coach Chris Finch who was with the Nuggets last season were possible determining factors.
Jameer Nelson went through an entire training camp with the Nuggets before his release just three days ago, so there shouldn’t be a need for Nelson to get into basketball shape. It would not be a shock for the Pelicans to insert him into the rotation, or even the starting lineup (sliding Jrue Holiday back to shooting guard), quickly. With a full season of experience in a Chris Finch offense it’s not difficult to reason he can pick up the Pelicans system quickly and take charge on the floor.
Looking further into the future, the presence of both Rajon Rondo and Jameer Nelson on the roster should solidify the rotation with a veteran presence available at all times to be a steadying force for an offense that has looked out of sorts at times.