The Pelicans are signing Bryce Dejean-Jones to a second 10-day contract on Monday, sources familiar with the situation confirmed to The Advocate on Sunday.
Although his initial deal technically expired on Sunday, the Pelicans didn’t practice; allowing the team to push the signing to Monday. This ensures Dejean-Jones will be with the team for at least the next six games and takes them one game shy of the All-Star break.
The two sides are working toward a long-term deal to keep Dejean-Jones in New Orleans, but if it’s not struck before the All-Star break, he will be off of the roster when the Pelicans travel to Oklahoma City on Feb. 11.
That may not have been a noteworthy event last week, but it certainly is now.
Since signing his first 10-day contract on Jan. 21, the rookie guard went from an afterthought at the end of the bench to a starter averaging 35.5 minutes in a pair of Pelicans wins. Injuries to Tyreke Evans (knee) and Eric Gordon (broken finger) vastly shortened New Orleans’ backcourt rotation, opening a spot for Dejean-Jones to shine.
Coach Alvin Gentry’s desire to keep Jrue Holiday coming off of the bench opened an opportunity for Dejean-Jones to play alongside the starting unit and he’s mostly flourished, moving ahead of several veterans in the rotation thanks to his versatility and athleticism.
He scored 14 points in a win over Sacramento on Jan. 28. Two nights later he hauled in nine rebounds and played crunch-time minutes in a 105-103 victory over Brooklyn.
“If he was nervous, I couldn’t have told you that,” Pelicans’ forward Ryan Anderson said on Thursday. “It’s great to see. I’ve been around for a while to see that there’s not a lot of young guys that can come out and just do that on any given night. He’s a special player.”
Dejean-Jones initially joined the Pelicans on the Summer League roster, before being invited to training camp where he was one of the last players cut.
After a stint with Idaho Stampede in the NBA Development League, where he averaged 19.2 points and 4.7 rebounds, he was brought back to New Orleans and may not leave again.
“It’s been fun but I also know these opportunities don’t happen much,” Dejean-Jones said. “I’m trying to treat it like it’s just regular basketball but I know on a 10-day contract, you have to go out there and earn it. So that’s what I’m trying to do.”