The Pelicans waived Toney Douglas before having to guarantee the rest of his contract.
The Pacers didn’t submit a claim, but now that he has cleared waivers, they’ll take him.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:
The Pacers probably got a couple advantages by signing Douglas rather than claiming him. If it’s a one-year minimum contract, the NBA will pay a portion of it. That wouldn’t have happened by claiming him, because he was on a two-year deal, even though that was for the minimum. Indiana can also negotiate a new guarantee date rather than Aug. 1 – and that’s particularly important.
The Pacers have 15 players with guaranteed salaries, and their four lowest-paid players – Shayne Whittington, Joseph Young, Rakeem Christmas and Glenn Robinson III – signed this offseason. It’s hard to see Indiana making room for Douglas on its regular-season roster.
George Hill, Monta Ellis, Rodney Stuckey, Joseph Young can all play point guard or some proximity to the position. If Indiana makes a trade, Douglas could provide depth – especially because some of those other players will see most of their minutes on the wing. Otherwise, Douglas probably gets squeezed out in late October.
But at minimum, the six-year veteran will have training camp to make his case. Maybe a point guard-needy team with a roster vacancy will be watching.
Toney Douglas had a couple stints with the Pelicans last season. He first signed on Feb. 4 for a couple of 10-day contracts, but wasn’t picked up for the season at that time. Then on March 24 things changed and the Pelicans picked him up for the rest of the campaign. He added some guard depth to an injury-riddled New Orleans roster, played some decent defense, and he got in a dozen games for the team (but none in the playoffs).
But he was never expected to make it back in the fall, and that became official on Friday — the Pelicans waived Douglas.
That leaves the Pelicans with a dozen guaranteed contracts on the roster.
There is one big question remaining — what happens with Norris Cole? He is a restricted free agent who was hoping to get an offer larger than the qualifying one the Pelicans extended — he’s had talks with the Sixers — but so far nothing.
Cole played some of the best ball of his career for the Pelicans late last season — he averaged 9.9 points and 3.2 assists a game and played good defense, then continued that solid performance in the playoffs against Golden State. The Pelicans want him back, which is why Cole has struggled to get an offer from another team because they all assume the Pelicans would just match.
The last time we saw Jrue Holiday on the court it was Jan. 12. Back then, he was key to the Pelicans’ backcourt averaging 15.2 points and 7.1 assists a game, plus he was shooting 36.7 percent from three. Even more than that, he’s a quality defender that the Pelicans need on the perimeter.
However, a “stress reaction” in his right leg sidelined him for more than three months.
Friday night Holiday will be back albeit in a limited role. Coach Monty Williams said this at shootaround, as reported on the Pelicans’ official site.
“He won’t be playing more than 15 minutes a game for the rest of the season,” Williams said. “Unless he feels better and we feel like he’s not in harm’s way – then we’ll increase it. But I doubt that he’ll get to his normal minute allotment. Jrue’s a guy who can play 35 to 40 minutes a night, but he won’t get to that.”
Holiday likely takes minutes away from Toney Douglass and Norris Cole. That’s an upgrade.
In Holiday’s absence the Pelicans have transformed — Tyreke Evans is the guy with the ball in his hands more — but they have battled back and are currently the eighth seed in the West. They are tied with Oklahoma City, but the Pelicans have the tie breaker.
Holiday returns against Phoenix, a team with a quality backcourt where his defense could be useful. The Pelicans need wins to stay in the playoff mix.
The Pelicans are bringing back veteran point guard Toney Douglas for the rest of the season, according to a report by Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling:
New Orleans signed Douglas to two 10-day contracts in February, but he appeared in only three games and they opted not to bring him back. Now, with Tyreke Evans out with an ankle injury and Jrue Holiday still not back from the leg injury that has kept him out since January 12, they need backcourt help as they try to make a push for the playoffs. They’re currently tenth in the Western Conference, half a game behind Phoenix and three games behind Oklahoma City for the eighth seed.
Jrue Holiday has missed the Pelicans’ last 16 games due to a stress reaction in his right leg.
The injury is still bothering him.
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that guard Jrue Holiday aggravated the stress reaction in his lower right leg Monday. He will be re-evaluated in three weeks by the team’s medical staff. A timetable for his return will be announced at a later date as more information is available.
Three weeks would cover seven games, but it could be longer.
This is bad news for the Pelicans’ playoff hopes. They’ve been relying on Tyreke Evans at point guard, and Toney Douglas – who’s trying to fill a major hole as the backup one – signed a second 10-day contract. At a certain point, Anthony Davis can take them only so far.
With the Suns trying to trade Goran Dragic, the Thunder’s playoff chances are looking pretty good.