Bryce Dejean-Jones Signed

Published: February 19, 2016

The New Orleans Pelicans signed Bryce Dejean-Jones today. Dejean-Jones, 6-6, 203, has played in 11 games for the Pelicans this year, eight of which were starts, averaging 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game. He is shooting 42.9% from the field this year, and 38.5% from beyond the arc. Dejean-Jones, who is 23 years old, is an undrafted rookie out of Iowa State University. He played in New Orleans’ summer league team in Las Vegas this year, making it through training camp, before being cut prior to the start of the season. He was brought back a la two 10-day contracts, before signing this contract.

To make room for Dejean-Jones on the roster, the team cut trade deadline acquisition Jarnell Stokes. Stokes was traded yesterday to New Orleans from the Miami Heat for a heavily protected second round pick, that is very unlikely to be sent to Miami. New Orleans also acquired the money to cover Stokes’ and Dejean-Jones’ contract for the year.

While per team policy, the New Orleans Pelicans contract details were not disclosed, The Advocate‘s Scott Kushner posted on Twitter that Dejean-Jones was signed to a three-year deal, which is partially guaranteed next year. This is significant, for the Pelicans will have Dejean-Jones Bird Rights if they decide to keep him for the duration of the contract (and try to sign him afterwards), but can also cut with minimal impact on next season’s salary cap if they decide to use the money on a free agent.

Quick Analysis: Dejean-Jones proved himself to be a valuable player in the Pelicans’ system throughout his 10-day contracts. Being on the summer league roster and for training camp meant he was already familiar with the system, and has allowed him to contribute immediately. He has shown some promise, and lineup data with him on the court has been rather encouraging (especially when sharing the floor with Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis.) On a team that doesn’t have many shooters in the rotation, Dejean-Jones contains a gravity that opens up the offense a bit for a team starved for space.

Dejean-Jones’ wasn’t immediately signed after his second 10-day contract in order to make room for a deal like the Stokes trade. The Stokes trade afforded the Pelicans to make the money that allowed the team to guarantee Dejean-Jones contract with Miami Heat owner’s Mickey Arison’s money. It also keeps Dell Demps on Pat Riley’s radar when it comes to quick contract dumps and the sort, which for a GM who loves to make splashes, may benefit the team later (like Norris Cole did last year for the Pelicans.) While Stokes has some potential that made yesterday’s move interesting beyond the budget, it is safe to assume the team is trying to create some continuity amongst the players who have been on the roster all season. It is also hard to see how Stokes would have found playing time this year, behind Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis (and with Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca at center.)

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