Arinze Onuaku

Pelicans agree to non-guaranteed deal with Arinze Onuaku

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The Pelicans were one of the teams interested in adding Greg Oden to their roster for some frontcourt depth, and were even reportedly considering giving him two years guaranteed to make that happen.

With Oden long gone and now a member of the Miami Heat, New Orleans has gone with a less expensive yet possibly more reliable option, agreeing to terms with Arinze Onuaku, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

The deal is non-guaranteed for the upcoming season, with a team option for a second season. Which means that Onuaku will have to earn his spot on the roster beginning in training camp at the end of September.

Onuaku is a bruising, 6’9″ 275-pound forward who showed a nice touch around the basket and a nose for the ball while cleaning the glass for the Suns during Summer League in Las Vegas. He averaged 6.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in seven appearances there, while playing 17.3 minutes per contest.

Onuaku was likely to receive a training camp invite from the Suns, but that would have been non-guaranteed as well, and he would have been a long shot to make the Phoenix roster given the duplication at his position.

The Pelicans currently have 13 players with guaranteed contracts in place for next season.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.