According to Shams Charnia of the Athletic, the New Orleans Pelicans have signed Jarrett Jack to a non-guaranteed, one-year contract.
Jack will sign a non-guaranteed deal, allowing him to compete for a reserve point guard spot for Pelicans. https://t.co/MQmKkPUjq0— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 17, 2018
Jack’s addition means the New Orleans Pelicans will enter training camp next week with 20 players, the maximum allowed under the CBA. While some believe Jack is strictly in town for training camp purposes as Darius Morris, who both should push Elfrid Payton in competitive practices behind the scenes, I believe there’s a decent chance for Jack to make the roster — if not at the end of the exhibition schedule, at some point during the regular season.
As Preston wrote, the Pelicans options at point guard are woefully thin behind Payton. If the plan is to keep Jrue Holiday off the ball as much as possible and Payton struggles out of the gates, Jack could be a legitimate option. New Orleans has twelve guaranteed contracts so three spots do remain up for grabs.
The expectation remains the 13th spot on the roster is likely going to be filled by one of the Okafors, likely Jahlil, but after that, it’s anyone’s guess. Many feel the 14th spot should go to the winner of Garlon Green, Troy Williams and Kenrich Williams in preseason, but I’ve always maintained that the front office would reward their favorite with a two-way contract as the spot needs to be saved for another playmaking guard instead of a project at small forward — and Dell Demps has made it a habit of keeping the 15th spot open at the start of regular seasons.
In addition to leaning heavily on Rajon Rondo when healthy, remember that New Orleans added Jameer Nelson less than a week into the 2017-18 season, after the Pelicans started with losses to the Grizzlies and Warriors and Rondo sidelined with injury. There was a need for a dependable decision-maker at the one despite the roster fielding a healthy Holiday and DeMarcus Cousins.
This time round, the All-Star center has moved to the Bay area, and while Julius Randle is expected to help with the team’s playmaking, the Pelicans are smart to react to a weakness on the depth chart before the losses start piling up. While I had a preference for Ty Lawson, Jack makes for a solid consolation prize after his latest stint with the New York Knicks.