Greg Stiemsma

Pelicans to sign backup center Greg Stiemsma


With Robin Lopez gone the Pelicans were looking for a little more size up front. They found it.

The Pelicans have reached an agreement to bring in backup center Greg Stiemsma, his agent told multiple media members on Wednesday. It is a one-year deal worth $2.7 million, according to Ken Berger at

Stiemsma is a 6’11” traditional center who had a good rookie season with Boston a couple years ago and spent last season in Minnesota. His greatest skill is as a shot blocker, something he can sometimes chase to the point of picking up too many fouls. Stiemsma also is a solid rebounder.

His offensive game is limited and he’s best when he lets the chances fall to him. He shot 54 percent his rookie year in Boston but that fell to 45.7 percent last season in Minnesota.

There is room to get significant minutes along the Pelicans front line behind or playing next to Anthony Davis, if Stiemsma can earn them.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.