Jordan Crawford

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Report: Pelicans, Rajon Rondo working toward one-year contract

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New Orleans achieved its biggest offseason priority – overpaying Jrue Holiday rather than losing him.

But after escaping that corner, the Pelicans are backed into another. They’re capped out and need to fill out their rotation.

Enter Rajon Rondo?

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Rondo and Holiday playing together? I don’t know about that, though New Orleans’ unappealing shooting guards make it more palatable.

The Pelicans could use a backup point guard.

Quinn Cook has barely played in the NBA. No. 31 pick Frank Jackson is just a rookie and coming off injury. E'Twaun Moore and Jordan Crawford are combo guards, and Crawford might not make the team.

Rondo would be an upgrade.

New Orleans should somewhat stagger Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, as both are best at center. For all his incredible abilities, Davis’ weak spot is creating his own shot. Rondo, who has declined in so many facets, remains a quality distributor. He could play well with Davis. (Davis and Cousins have emerging outside games, but spacing with both and Rondo could get creaky.)

The Pelicans have the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions available. But using both – especially considering they could also re-sign Dante Cunningham with Bird Rights – could put them into the luxury tax. Signing Rondo would also limit their ability to add a wing, another position where they need help.

It’s probably impossible for New Orleans to address all its shortcomings, but at least Rondo might plug one hole.

DeMarcus Cousins carries Pelicans in first game against Kings

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins had 37 points and 13 rebounds in his first game against the Kings, and the New Orleans Pelicans routed Sacramento 117-89 on Friday night.

Cousins had downplayed his first meeting with the team that drafted him in 2010 and traded him away this February, but his play looked inspired. He tied a career-high with five 3-pointers and executed a tricky, crowd-pleasing, cross-court bounce pass during a fast break.

Anthony Davis added 19 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Pelicans, who led by as many as 32 en route to their eighth victory in 11 games.

Pelicans first-round draft choice Buddy Hield, who was part of the Cousins trade, had 13 points for Sacramento, while Ben McLemore had 15 points.

Cousins, who also finished with four assists and two blocked shots, received a standing ovation from many fans when he checked out of the game for the final time with a little more than three minutes left.

E'Twaun Moore had 13 points for the Pelicans, who shot 48.4 percent (46 of 94), including 10 of 33 from 3-point range. Jordan Crawford and Dante Cunningham each scored 12 points.

Skal Labissiere scored 13 points for the Kings, who shot 39.3 percent (35 of 89). Tyreke Evans, Willie Cauley-Stein and Gerogios Papagiannis each scored 11 points.

But the Kings had no answer for the front-court tandem of Cousins and Davis, who helped New Orleans finish with a 60-38 advantage in points in the paint. New Orleans also scored 27 fast-break points and racked up 36 points off of 22 Kings turnovers.

TIP-INS

Kings: Sacramento fell to 5-14 since trading away Cousins in a deal that also sent Evans, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round draft choices to the Kings. … Galloway finished with three points. … When Hield was shooting in the first half, the backdrop to the hoop was tourism advertising for his native Bahamas spread across four sections of seating. The season-long ad campaign had been launched after the Pelicans used their sixth overall draft choice last summer to select Hield.

Pelicans: New Orleans has won six straight at home, where it is now 21-18. … Davis became the first player in Pelicans history to score 2,000 points in a season. He needed 16 to hit that milestone coming into the game. … Cousins has hit five 3s three times in his past four games.

 

Dallas’ Devin Harris fined $25,000 for “aggressively pursuing a game official”

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The Mavericks’ Devin Harris did not like referee Ben Taylor’s calls. To put it kindly. Taylor hit Harris with a foul after a collision with Pelicans’ guard Jordan Crawford — and Harris had a point, Crawford got his elbow up.

However, Harris argued so vehemently he got a couple quick technicals, and three teammates had to hold him back from going after Taylor.

That reaction earned Harris a $25,000 fine from the NBA for “aggressively pursuing a game official and failing to leave the court in a timely manner following his ejection.” The league isn’t wrong about that, either.

Three Mavericks teammates restrain Devin Harris, who still gets ejected (video)

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Dallas guard Devin Harris was ejected from Wednesday night’s 121-118 loss to New Orleans after angrily protesting calls made by official Ben Taylor.

Harris was assessed two quick technical fouls by Taylor, the first after Harris protested Taylor’s decision to whistle him for a personal foul when he collided with Pelicans’ guard Jordan Crawford.

The impact with Crawford sent Harris crashing to the court, marking the second time in the period that Harris had gone down hard. The first time, no foul was called when a collision with Pelicans’ guard E'Twaun Moore left Harris flat on his back.

When Harris was assessed the first technical, he went into a tirade and had to be restrained by teammates as he advanced toward Taylor. That triggered his ejection.

Bulls waive Jordan Crawford

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The Bulls are shaking things up this season.

Just not to Jordan Crawford levels.

Bulls release:

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived guards Jordan Crawford and Marcus Simmons.

Crawford was the most accomplished of the four Bulls without fully guaranteed salaries – Crawford, Simmons Cameron Bairstow and Cristiano Felicio – vying for roster spots behind 13 players with guaranteed salaries. But that has also cemented Crawford’s reputation.

Crawford is an exciting, though inefficient, gunner. It would’ve been fun to see him on the court this season. Chicago is probably better off without him, especially if Fred Hoiberg can create more organic scoring opportunities based on ball and player movement.

This leaves the Bulls with the regular-season limit of 15 players, including Bairstow and Felicio. I think Bairstow, whose salary is $425,000 guaranteed, sticks. Felicio is a tougher call – especially because Chicago is in line to pay the luxury tax.