The Pelicans will be without another starter on Thursday night.
But, this time it’s not due to injury. Starting shooting guard Bryce Dejean-Jones is not currently under contract with the Pelicans, since his second 10-day deal expired on Wednesday night.
He’s unavailable for New Orleans tonight when it tips off at 7 p.m. against Oklahoma City. He didn’t board the team plane, despite averaging 26.4 minutes during the past eight games, where he averaged 8.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists on 42.6 percent shooting.
In his place, the Pelicans listed their probable starting backcourt as Norris Cole and Toney Douglas, opting to keep Jrue Holiday as its top guard off of the bench. The rotation is particularly thin, considering Tyreke Evans is possibly out for the season due to an impending knee surgery.
It’s uncertain whether Dejean-Jones will return to the roster following the week-long All-Star break, which starts on Friday.
Sources familiar with the situation say the Pelicans and Dejean-Jones have been in contract negotiations for several weeks trying to hammer out a deal to not only keep the rookie in New Orleans for the remainder of the season, but for multiple years on a rookie-scale contract.
Dejean-Jones has also been contacted by other franchises looking to add the former Iowa State standout.
Both the Pelicans and Dejean-Jones are hopeful he can come to an agreement with New Orleans during the All-Star break, which would allow him to play when the second half of the season opens on Feb. 19 against the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I like it here,” Dejean-Jones said in January. “I think the system suits me well and I was given the chance to go out and play and make the most of it. I mean, I’m on a 10-day so you only have so many chances to prove yourself and they’re giving them to me.”