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2021-22 roster appears set after expected Josh Hart re-signing, no marquee games for Pelicans during opening week or Christmas Day

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Plus, New Orleans will appear in their last summer league game later today

LA Clippers v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced on Twitter yesterday that the New Orleans Pelicans are expected to re-sign Josh Hart to a 3-year deal worth $38 million.

In addition, the Pelicans formally announced the signings of Didi Louzada, Willy “Billy” Hernangomez and Herbert Jones.

Jones was signed via part of the mid-level exception, and Hernangomez and Didi via non-bird rights.

With the Pelicans now slated to start training camp with 15 guaranteed contracts, don’t look for any further free agent splashes. However, it wouldn’t surprise me to see several non-guaranteed contracts eventually doled out, perhaps joining Wenyen Gabriel on the preseason roster.

One thing to keep in mind, the Pelicans have several contracts that could be smartly utilized prior to the next trade deadline to bring in a bigger name. Tomas Satoransky and Jonas Valanciunas are on expiring deals, and while Hart has been awarded a shiny new contract, the Pelicans are suddenly overladen with wings who deserve minutes.

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The NBA announced part of the 2021-22 schedule today: the marquee games for opening week and Christmas Day — and the Pelicans were noticeably absent.

Further notes, per the NBA:

  • The 2021-22 regular season will run Oct. 19, 2021 – April 10, 2022.
  • The 2022 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sun., Feb. 20 in Cleveland and air on TNT.
  • The 2022 NBA Play-In Tournament will be held April 12-15, followed by the start of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on Sat., April 16.
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The Pelicans will appear in their final summer league game of this exhibition season in a few hours time. The undefeated Minnesota Timberwolves are on tap, so this contest will feature the two unbeaten teams that narrowly missed out on making the SL championship game (Celtics vs Kings).

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (4-0) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (4-0)

When: August 17, 6:30 p.m. Central

Where to watch: NBA TV, ESPN app

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.