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Trajan Langdon starts 2019 free agency with Euro-League stretch-forward Nicolo Melli

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The Pelicans needed a stretchy big, and guaranteed Melli for two years at $8 million

The New Orleans Pelicans dipped their hands into free agency six hours early today, signing 6’9, Euroleague power forward Nicolo Melli to a two-year contract.

Melli (28) possesses the professional experience this squad desperately needs and his scoring-prowess from the perimeter should fit nicely next to Zion Williamson.

“In EuroLeague competition the last four seasons,” Andrew Lopez of Nola.com wrote, “Melli has shot a combined 42.1 (131-for-311) on three-point attempts. He can space the floor in the frontcourt for a Pelicans squad looking for shooting.”

Melli and E’Twaun Moore give the Pelicans the catch-and-shoot spacing that could punish league’s second units and give Lonzo Ball the outlets he needs to drive and kick in Alvin Gentry’s fast-paced offense. The Pelicans appear thin in the frontcourt with just Jahlil Okafor and Christian Wood available to spell rookies Zion and Jaxon Hayes. Melli could bolster that depth in an ideal fashion.

Even more promising, Sam Vecencie and Jacob Goldstein both give the move their stamp of approval.

The Atlanta Hawks reportedly offered Melli a place on their offseason roster two seasons ago but were ultimately rebuffed, insinuating that the Pelicans may appear serious about keeping him on their regular season roster.

Many dominoes will continue to fall as free agency progresses this afternoon and the Pelicans have plenty to spend. Expect another stretchy big and perhaps a backcourt playmaking veteran to make their way onto the Pelicans roster early this week.

Melli is fully guaranteed at two years, $8 million and will be a part of the regular season roster.