The New Orleans Pelicans have converted John Butler to a Two-Way contract.
Butler, a 7-1 center, went undrafted out of Florida State this year.
Butler averaged 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 block in 16.7 minutes over four Summer League games.
Larry Nance Jr. signed a two-year, $21.6 million extension with the New Orleans Pelicans, reported Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Nance, who was traded to the Pelicans last season, averaged 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in nine games.
The New Orleans Pelicans are one of two teams to have never paid the luxury tax, but that could change based on the long-term contract commitments they have made to their core of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum.
“When it’s time to really go all in on something, we will,” said David Griffin at media day.
The Pelicans are already over the cap and close the luxury tax for 23-24.
Owner Gayle Benson was in the front row observing Griffin's comments during his press conference.
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed forwards John Butler and Zylan Cheatham. In a related move, the Pelicans have waived two-way guard Izaiah Brockington.
Butler, 7-2, 174, played one collegiate season at Florida State, where he averaged 5.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 31 games. During his rookie campaign, Butler led the Seminoles with 33 three-point shots made as he became the first true freshman in school history to lead Florida State in three-point shots made and three-point field goal shooting percentage (.393).
Cheatham, 6-5, 220, most recently played professionally for the Utah Jazz, appearing in one game. During the 2021-22 NBA season, Cheatham played in four games for New Orleans, averaging 3.0 points, 0.8 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per contest while shooting .667 from the floor.
Brockington, 6-4, 196, most recently played collegiately for Iowa State University, earning All-Big 12 First Team honors in 2022 after averaging 16.9 points and 6.8 rebounds, to go along with 1.6 assists and 1.3 steals. Over his four-year collegiate career, Brockington appeared in 125 games for St. Bonaventure, Penn State and Iowa State, averaging 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
New Orleans’ roster now stands at 20 players, including one two-way player.
CJ McCollum has agreed to a two-year, $64 million extension with the New Orleans Pelicans.
McCollum is now signed with the Pelicans for $133 million over four seasons.
Zion Williamson and his camp believe he has taken a critical step in improving his conditioning this summer. Williamson recently returned to New Orleans after spending two months in Fort Lauderdale executing a conditioning plan crafted with his strength and conditioning coach Jasper Bibbs.
“He’s in fantastic shape,” Bibbs told The Athletic. “He’s been committed to putting in the work day in and day out. I’m really proud of what he’s been able to accomplish. He’s a better athlete now than he’s ever been.”
Bibbs declined to specify how much weight Williamson lost over the summer, but he has said Williamson has come a long way since they began working together in January.
Williamson missed the entire 21-22 season following foot surgery.
“(His body composition) has improved at an extremely high level,” he said. “That’s all I’ll say.”
Bibbs previously worked with Donovan Williams.
"This summer, we came up with a plan," said Bibbs. "He committed to the plan. We wanted Zion to not only have a great individual season, but we also wanted to focus on what he could do to help the team win. We wanted to develop him to be more resilient and to better handle the demands of being a very explosive athlete at his size.
"We focused on addressing body composition — his body weight, body fat, etc. — while maintaining and improving flexibility, strength and power. We also focused on improving his overall fitness. The more weight he carries around, the more stress it puts on the body. We focused on aerobic and anaerobic basketball-specific conditioning. One of the main goals was to get Zion back to the same athletic ability he had before the injury. In the process, he’s improved athletically. I truly think he’s a better athlete now than he was before. Once you guys see him on the court, I think you’ll agree."
The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to sign Javonte Smart to an Exhibit 10 deal.
Smart spent last season on Two-Way contracts with the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat.
Smart went undrafted in 2021 out of LSU.
Host Danny Leroux (@DannyLeroux), Rob Mahoney of The Ringer (@RobMahoney) and Matt Moore of The Action Network (@HPBasketball) go in-depth on the NBA’s Southwest Division.
They discuss how the Rockets, Pelicans, Spurs, Mavericks and Grizzlies fared in the off-season, including which teams improved and what moves stood out. The three also predict the season to come, including projected finish, breakout players and rookies they are most excited to see. Also, Danny pays tribute to his friend Jonathan Tjarks.
Izaiah Brockington signed a two-way deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, reported Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Brockington, who suffered a pre-draft ACL injury, is currently rehabbing and plans to return sometime during this upcoming season.
The New Orleans Pelicans have signed Dereon Seabron to a Two-Way contract.
Seabron went undrafted in 2022 out of NC State.
In five Summer League games with the Pelicans, Seabron averaged 8.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists.