New Orleans Pelicans Player News: All Positions

News: Wood will not play during Saturday's game against the Heat, Will Guillory of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The Pelicans are opting to protect Wood's health by sitting him out of Saturday's action. The next time we'll see him will likely be the preseason.
News: Jackson (quad) is out Saturday against the Heat, Will Guillory of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Jackson is still nursing a bruised quad. It's possible we've seen the last of him before the preseason, as the summer league playoffs are single elimination.
News: Jackson has been sidelined for the Pelicans' last three Las Vegas Summer League contests due to a quadriceps contusion, Nathan Brown of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Impact: General manager David Griffin said that Jackson took a knee to his quad while driving through traffic June 5, when he poured in 30 points in 24 minutes in a win over the Knicks. The Pelicans will take on the Heat on Saturday in a quarterfinal matchup, but the team hasn't revealed Jackson's status for that contest. In any case, the injury isn't anything that should impact his availability for training camp.
News: Louzada Silva managed 12 points (5-10 FG, 2-5 3Pt), three assists, two rebounds and one steal across 28 minutes during the Pelicans' 99-78 win over the Cavaliers in a Las Vegas Summer League game Wednesday.
Impact: The second-round pick is in Las Vegas to gain some seasoning before likely heading off to play professionally in Australia during the coming campaign. So far, so good for Louzada Silva, who's now averaging 12.5 points (on 50.0 percent shooting), 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 block across two summer league games. The Brazilian prospect is heralded for his strong shooting, which has been on display over his first pair of contests.
News: Hayes registered 13 points (6-8 FG, 1-1 3Pt), seven rebounds, one assist and one block across 24 minutes during the Pelicans' 99-78 win over the Cavaliers in a Las Vegas Summer League game Wednesday.
Impact: Hayes was outdone by fellow first-round pick Nickeil Alexander-Walker, but he turned in a solid showing in his own right. The eight overall pick is averaging 20.5 points (on 70.0 percent shooting), 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over 22.0 minutes in two Las Vegas games.
News: Alexander-Walker collected 26 points (10-20 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 3-4 FT), six assists, five rebounds, one steal and one block across 32 minutes during the Pelicans' 99-78 win over the Cavaliers in a Las Vegas Summer League game Wednesday.
Impact: The 2019 first-round pick has only suited up for two games in Las Vegas thus far, but he's made a lasting impression. Alexander-Walker is averaging 24.5 points on 53.0 percent shooting over that pair of contests, and despite the small sample, he's looks more than up for the task of taking on a relatively sizable role behind Lonzo Ball during the coming season.
News: Alexander-Walker scored 23 points (9-16 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 2-3 FT) and added eight assists, three steals, two rebounds and two blocks across 27 minutes in the Pelicans' 109-72 win over the Bulls in the Las Vegas Summer League on Monday.
Impact: Alexander-Walker did it all on Monday, scoring an efficient 23 points on just 16 shots and dishing eight times. The No. 17 pick showed why he was so highly touted coming out of Virginia Tech with his effort on both ends of the court.
News: Hayes totaled 28 points (10-15 FG, 8-14 FT), four rebounds and three blocks across 20 minutes in the Pelicans' 109-72 win over the Bulls in the Las Vegas Summer League on Monday.
Impact: The No. 8 pick showed off his athleticism with some highlight plays, including a ferocious dunk. The former Longhorn was considered one of the top prospects in this year's draft, but there were plenty of questions regarding his health and scoring abilities. For at least one game, those questions have been answered.
News: The Pelicans rescinded their rights to Bluiett on Monday, making him an unrestricted free agent, Keith Smart of Yahoo Sports reports.
Impact: After going undrafted out of Xavier last summer, Bluiett inked a one-year, two-way contract with the Pelicans. He never made an appearance at the NBA level in 2018-19 and instead logged all of his playing time in the G League. While he'll now be free to sign with any of the league's 30 teams, Bluiett may continue to appear in games this week for the Pelicans' Las Vegas Summer League entry.
News: Cheatham finished with 10 points (2-10 FG, 6-8 FT) and 11 rebounds in the Pelicans' 84-79 loss to the Wizards in the Las Vegas Summer League on Saturday.
Impact: Cheatham came away with a double-double in Saturday's loss. He had an inefficient shooting night, but he hit double-digit points with his eight free throw attempts. He'll likely start the season with the G League, but he has a chance to make a name for himself in Summer League play.
News: Bigby-Williams totaled 14 points (5-9 FG, 4-6 FT), 14 rebounds and a block over 23 minutes in the Pelicans' 84-79 loss to the Wizards in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Impact: Bigby-Williams, who went undrafted out of LSU in this year's draft, will need to keep up his productive play to have a chance of making the Pelicans' roster. He led his team in points and boards in Saturday's loss.
News: Williamson has been diagnosed with a bruised left knee and will not play in the remainder of summer league.
Impact: There is no indication that the injury is serious or will limit the rookie's availability for training camp. But the Pelicans will, understandably, exercise extreme caution with Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
News: Jackson recorded 30 points (11-17 FG, 5-9 3Pt, 3-3 FT), three rebounds and two blocks across 24 minutes during Friday's 80-74 win over the Knicks in the Las Vegas Summer League (game halted due to earthquake).
Impact: Jackson's brilliant performance was overshadowed by the early departure of Zion Williamson (knee) due to injury, but Jackson ended up as the best former Blue Devil on Friday. Jackson's injury struggles have plagued his NBA career but he managed to put his season-ending 2017 foot surgery behind him in March. when he had a solid nine-game run of double-digit scoring games in place of Jrue Holiday (abdomen). With the acquisition of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and J.J. Redick, it's difficult to see a path where Jackson will make much of an impact this season.
News: Bigby-Williams joined the Pelicans on an Exhibit 10 deal Friday, Andrew Lopez of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Impact: Bigby-Williams joined the Hornets on a similar deal in late June but will now try his luck in New Orleans instead. He'll have his work cut out for him to make the roster after going undrafted during the 2019 draft.
News: Williamson will not play in the second half of Friday's Las Vegas Summer League contest against the Knicks after taking a knee-to-knee hit during the first half.
Impact: The Pelicans have no reason not to be extremely cautious with Williamson during Summer League, so holding him out for the second half doesn't indicate that the injury is anything serious. The team doesn't expect the issue to linger, but Williamson could still sit for the rest of Summer League, as the Pelicans clearly know what he can bring to the team already.
News: Louzada, who was selected 35th overall by the Pelicans in last month's NBA draft, is expected to sign a draft-and-stash deal with the Sydney Kings as part of the Australian National Basketball League's "Next Stars" program, Jonathan Givony of reports.
Impact: While playing in the NBL, Louzada will be tutored in English and will have an NBA out clause that would allow him to join the Pelicans ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. He has a solid three-point stroke, but needs to gain some weight to handle the forward position in the NBA.
News: Miller will sign a two-year, $14.25 million contract with the Pelicans, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: While New Orleans succeeded in bringing back a key three-and-D wing, the salary figure is a bit higher than expected. Still, Miller adds even more depth to what's one of the more well-rounded rosters in the NBA heading into next season. In 2018-19, Miller appeared in 69 games and contributed 8.2 points, 2.1 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 1.9 made threes (36.5% 3PT) per game.
News: Favors was traded from the Jazz to the Pelicans on Sunday, Tony Jones of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The details surrounding the trade have yet to be revealed, but it looks as though the Pelicans will add yet another talented big man to their squad, assuming the trade becomes official. Favors averaged 11.8 points along with 7.4 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 assists over 76 contests last season with the Jazz, and he figures to be a force on the defensive end of the court in New Orleans alongside Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
News: Redick and the Pelicans agreed Sunday on a two-year, $26.5 million deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: This move is somewhat surprising, as they 76ers appeared to be the front runner for Redick's services. The Pelicans will be his sixth team since being drafted in 2006. The veteran sharp-shooter averaged a career high 18.1 points last season hit 3.2 triples per game on nearly 40 percent shooting.
News: Melli is expected to sign a two-year deal with the Pelicans, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: Melli has played in Europe to this point in his career, spending last season with Fenerbahce. Across 36 games last year he averaged 7.3 points (47.5 FG%, 38.5 3PT%, 81.6 FT%), 4.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. The 28-year old forward will likely slot in as a bench player for New Orleans this coming season.
News: Johnson had his qualifying offer declined and will become a free agent, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The move to decline Johnson's qualifying offer wasn't overly surprising as the Pelicans are swamped with assets and have a wealth of young assets whose development would likely take priority over Johnson's. That said, the former 8th overall pick is still just 23 and could draw interest due to his strong defensive skills. In 66 games split between Detroit and New Orleans last year, Johnson averaged 6.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 18.3 minutes per game while shooting 38.9 percent from the field, 28.8 percent from three and 78.1 percent from the line.
News: The Pelicans declined to extend a qualifying offer to Diallo ahead of free agency, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: This isn't overly surprising after New Orleans exercised Jahlil Okafor's team option and drafted Jaxson Hayes eighth overall, but Diallo figures to draw a decent amount of interest on the open market. The Kansas product, who averaged 14.0 minutes per game last season, will be an unrestricted free agent on June 30.
News: Adams agreed Friday with the Pelicans on an Exhibit 10 deal, Jeff Nowak of The New Orleans Advocate reports.
Impact: Adams was one of four players to catch on with New Orleans in the aftermath of Thursday's draft. Both the Connecticut point guard and Central Florida wing Aubrey Dawkins were signed to Exhibit 10 contract, one-year pacts worth the league minimum that can eventually be converted into two-way deals. Adams will presumably be included on the Pelicans' entry for the summer league, which begins July 5.
News: Cheatham has agreed to a two-way contract with the Pelicans, Sportnado reports.
Impact: Cheatham, a selection to the 2018-19 All-Pac-12 team, didn't get chosen during the 2019 NBA Draft. Last season with Arizona State, he averaged 12.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 32.4 minutes.
News: Dawkins signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Pelicans on Friday, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports.
Impact: Dawkins is coming off a breakout season UCF where he averaged a career-best 15.6 points per game while shooting 40.3 percent from behind the arc and put together a brilliant performance to close out his career when he scored 32 points in a tournament loss to Duke. His Exhibit 10 deal can either be converted to a two-way contract before the start of the regular season, or, if Dawkins is waived, he would likely head for the G League and receive a $50,000 bonus.
News: Bess signed a contract with the Pelicans on Friday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Bess is coming off a four-year stint on the collegiate level where he started at Michigan State before transferring to Saint Louis. Bess ended up breaking out at Saint Louis, averaging 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while leading his team to a conference title. He'll join the Pelicans for training camp and attempt to crack the team's final roster.
News: Louzada Silva was selected by the Pelicans with the 35th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Impact: A relatively unknown prospect, Louzada Silva has shot up to the early second round. He projects as a shooting guard and/or small forward at the NBA level, though may need to gain some weight to handle the forward spot. If all else fails, he should be able to knock down three-pointers at a high level.
News: Okafor is likely to still have a limited role in New Orleans, as the Pelicans have drafted two frontcourt players in Zion Williamson and Jaxon Hayes in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery.
Impact: New Orleans exercised its team option on Okafor for the 2019-20 season on Thursday due to his surprisingly productive tenure with the team last season. While that was reason for hope in terms of his potential playing time, the drafting of Hayes, an athletic center out of Texas, is cause to pump the brakes on that optimism. An Okafor and Williamson pairing provided spacing concerns from the start, and it now seems like Hayes will have the edge on Okafor out of the gate given the draft capital spent on him. Still, assuming Julius Randle does not re-sign, Okafor figures to see relatively healthy minutes providing depth in the frontcourt.
News: Alexander-Walker was selected by the Pelicans with the No. 17 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Impact: Alexander-Walker's size and playmaking ability helped him be voted onto the 2018-19 All-ACC team as a sophomore last season. The Virginia Tech product, in conference play, averaged 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.6 steals. His playing time next season may depend on what the Pelicans opt to do with Elfrid Payton, who is a free agent this summer. Either way, Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday figure to start ahead of Alexander-Walker
News: Hayes (knee) was selected by the Pelicans with the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Impact: Hayes' freshman season was cut short by what looked like a serious knee injury, but an MRI ultimately revealed no structural damage and it is not expected to impact his status for his rookie season. Hayes, who averaged 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game at Texas, is a terrific frontcourt athlete and shot blocker, but there are still plenty of questions surrounding his abilities on offense. Regardless, the frontcourt pairing of Hayes and fellow rookie Zion Williamson will certainly be an explosive one, but the former Longhorn's potential rests on his ability to become a productive offensive player.
News: Hill -- along with the No. 4 and No. 57 picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, plus a future second-round pick -- has been dealt to the Hawks for the No. 8, 17 and 35 picks in the 2019 Draft.
Impact: This deal is more about the picks and New Orleans dumping Hill's contract -- he's owed $13.2 million next season -- than the impact Hill will make as a player in Atlanta. Hill has struggled to make an impact lately, appearing in just 56 total games across the past two seasons. Last year, he averaged 4.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 20.0 minutes. It's unlikely his production will change much with the Hawks. At least not to the level that warrants fantasy consideration.
News: The Pelicans exercised Okafor's team option for the 2019-20 season Thursday, Malika Andrews of reports.
Impact: Okafor was surprisingly productive during his tenure with the Pelicans last season and may have extended his NBA career as a result. At a cheap price, keeping Okafor was a no-brainer for New Orleans this season, and depending on what the team does this offseason, he could play a prominent role in the team's frontcourt this year.
News: Ingram (shoulder) is expected to be ready before the start of training camp in the fall, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: Ingram underwent surgery back in March to address a thoracic outlet issue in his right arm, and while the procedure entails a multi-month recovery, the Duke product is expected to resume on-court activities sometime in July. That should give Ingram, who was shipped to New Orleans in the Anthony Davis deal, a few months to work his way back into shape before the start of camp. The Pelicans' roster figures to undergo more changes between now and October, but the general expectation is that Ingram will start on the wing for his new team.
News: Randle is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July after declining his $9 million player option for the 2019-20 season Sunday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Randle put up career-high numbers last season, putting up 21.4 points, 8.7 boards and 3.1 assists over 73 games. He'll be free to sign with the team of his choice after becoming an unrestricted free agent.
News: The Lakers traded Ingram (shoulder) to the Pelicans on Saturday as part of a package of players and picks in a deal that sent Anthony Davis to Los Angeles, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: Along with Ingram, the Lakers dealt away Josh Hart (knee), Lonzo Ball, the fourth overall pick in next week's draft and two additional future draft picks. Ingram, who averaged 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 52 games last year, is expected to be ready for the start of the 2019-20 campaign after requiring season-ending thoracic outlet decompression surgery on his right arm in mid-March. While New Orleans could augment its roster in a significant way in the next few months, Ingram should be in line to serve as one of the Pelicans' primary scoring options.
News: Ball (ankle) -- along with Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks, including the No. 4 overall in 2019 Draft -- has been traded to the Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: After spending his first two seasons in Los Angeles, Ball has been dealt to the Pelicans along with most of his young teammates. Though Ball's first two years have been underwhelming, a change of scenery could prove beneficial. Assuming the ankle injury that sidelined him for a large portion of 2018-19 proves to be a non-issue, Ball is the favorite to open the upcoming season as New Orleans' starting point guard, with Jrue Holiday occupying the other backcourt spot for the top unit.
News: The Pelicans acquired Hart (knee) from the Lakers on Saturday as part of a package of picks and players in exchange for Anthony Davis, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: Hart, who's recovering from season-ending knee surgery, was dealt along with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, the fourth overall pick in next week's 2019 NBA Draft and two future draft picks in exchange for All-Star center Anthony Davis. The Villanova product has been a steady contributor over his first two seasons in the NBA and averaged 7.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 threes in 25.6 minutes per game in 2018-19. The Pelicans' roster remains in flux in the wake of the franchise-altering trade, but Hart should have a decent shot at claiming a regular spot in the team's wing rotation regardless of what New Orleans' personnel looks like following the draft and free agency.
News: Davis was traded to the Lakers on Saturday in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart (knee), and three first-round picks - including the No. 4 overall in 2019 Draft, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: In a blockbuster deal that's been in the making since February's trade deadline, Davis will head to Los Angeles and pair up with LeBron James. Though the Lakers gave up most of its depth to get the deal done, having Davis and LeBron James on the same team should attract plenty of free agent talent. Through the first 41 games of the 2018-19 campaign, Davis averaged 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.7 steals across 37.1 minutes.
News: The Pelicans are beginning to listen to trade offers for Davis, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Impact: David Griffin, the Pelicans' new executive vice president of basketball operations, met with Davis last week to discuss the disgruntled big man's future, and while Charania reports that the meeting was "respectful and productive," Davis reiterated his desire to be traded out of New Orleans. The Pelicans won't be truly obligated to deal Davis until February's deadline, but it's likely in the interest of both parties to seek a deal before the start of next season. It's unclear which teams have already been in contact with Griffin, but Charania notes that other executives around the league believe the Lakers, Knicks, Celtics and Nets could offer the strongest packages.
News: Davis met with Pelicans executive vice president, David Griffin, on Wednesday, but it's "highly unlikely" that he'll change his mind regarding his future in New Orleans, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Impact: Since taking over in New Orleans, Griffin has made it clear he intends to do all he can to convince Davis to stay, but it sounds as though the superstar big man would still prefer a trade. Working in the Pelicans' favor is the fact that Davis is still under contract through the end of next season, though if he's unrelenting in his trade demand, the Pels will have little choice but to deal him before February's deadline, or risk losing him for nothing next summer.
News: Pelicans' GM David Griffin said Tuesday that he expects to meet with Davis in Los Angeles in the coming weeks, Ian Begley of SNY reports.
Impact: Griffin has made it clear that he will attempt to persuade Davis to stay in New Orleans, and while Davis has maintained that he'd like to be dealt, Griffin is hopeful that the Pelicans winning the lottery could help change the superstar's mind. "We're very confident that we have a compelling situation for him here," Griffin said. While the situation turned messy after the All-Star break, the Pelicans are under no obligation to trade Davis, who's still under contract with the team through the end of the 2019-20 season. However, if Davis maintains that he'll leave New Orleans next summer, the Pelicans will have virtually no choice but to deal him before the February deadline, or they'll risk losing him for nothing in free agency.