NBA Free Agency: Cousins, Rondo leaving New Orleans
New Orleans — The first two days of NBA Free Agency were nothing short of shocking, with the New Orleans Pelicans right in the thick of some major moves across the league. Headlining the roster shake-up, was the news of DeMarcus Cousins signing a 1-year deal with the Warriors, worth a meager $5.3 million. Cousins, who is coming back from a torn Achilles, made nearly $17 million with the Pelicans this past season. Equally as devastating a loss for the Pelicans was the news a few hours earlier of Rajon Rondo signing with the Lakers. The veteran point guard is headed to L.A. to join LeBron James and company on a 1-year deal worth $9 million.
As for what the Pelicans got in free agency, they started by signing point guard Elfrid Payton Sunday evening. Payton, who is from Gretna and went to John Ehret High School, signed a 1-year deal worth nearly $3 million. Then Monday afternoon, soon after the news broke about Rondo heading to L.A., the Pelicans signed power forward and center Julius Randle. He signed a 2-year deal worth $18 million.
Here’s a look at the timeline of moves for the Pelicans:
Sunday, July 1: Pelicans sign point guard Elfrid Payton (1 year, $2.7 million)
Monday, July 2: Rajon Rondo signs with Lakers (1 year, $9 million)
Monday, July 2: Pelicans sign power forward/ center Julius Randle (2 years, $18 million)
Monday, July 2: DeMarcus Cousins signs with Warriors (1 year, $5.3 million)
The Pelicans also began summer league mini-camp on Monday, where their 2018 draft pick, Tony Carr made his debut with the team. Carr joins a handful of new players on the summer league roster, including Nicholls State guard Roddy Peters. Returning players from last year’s Pelicans’ squad playing in summer league this year include Cheick Diallo, Frank Jackson and Walter Lemon, Jr. Pelicans’ assistant coach Kevin Hanson is leading this year’s summer league team. They have practices through Thursday before they head to Las Vegas for their first game on Friday, July 6th.