Last update: 2:45 p.m.; March 8, 2016
The New Orleans Pelicans are receiving some much-needed help for its thin roster.
League sources confirmed to The Advocate the team received an injury hardship exemption, meaning they can add shooting guard Orlando Johnson to a 10-day contract without having to cut anyone loose.
Johnson, 26, is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League. He’s shooting 46.1 percent from 3-point territory this season in 3.8 attempts per game, making him one of the D-League most prolific outside threads.
Prior to his signing, there were just three guards available in the Pelicans’ backcourt following prolonged injuries to Eric Gordon (finger), Tyreke Evans (knee) and Bryce Dejean-Jones (wrist). The thin depth chart allows Johnson an early opportunity to log significant minutes.
New Orleans received the same waiver on Nov. 10, which it used to sign Jimmer Fredette, who was released when his 10-day contract expired.
The hardship exemption is reserved for teams suffering prolonged injuries to at least four players for a minimum of two weeks. An independent physician reviewed the Pelicans’ medical claims and gave affirmation to the NBA.
If one of the injured Pelicans returns to the floor this season, the exemption expires and the roster gets pulled back.