The thought, Langston Galloway insists, hadn't crossed his mind.
Before this offseason when the free-agent guard began discussing the possibility of joining the Pelicans – with whom the Baton Rouge native agreed to a two-year contract on Wednesday – he'd never given a second thought to playing his pro basketball so close to home.
"Never really thought about the idea," Galloway said in a phone interview from Los Angeles. "It really shocked me when I had the opportunity to have them call and make an offer. You look at that kind of deal, going home, that played a huge key in it."
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Galloway, 24, was born in Baton Rouge and attended Christian Life Academy before playing his college basketball at St. Joseph's.
But he maintained his ties to the area. His parents still live in Baton Rouge, and his wife, Sabrina, also a Baton Rouge native – they were married last month – attended Loyola, providing him a reason to visit New Orleans.
Still, Galloway never has stayed in New Orleans more than "a couple weeks at a time," he said. Now he'll call it home, playing just about an hour and a half from where he grew up.
"I'm really excited," Galloway said. "I can't wait to get down there and really get an opportunity to show what I can do. Not only being back home, but also to help the Pelicans get it turned around and get us back into the playoffs."
Terms of Galloway's contract were not immediately available, but a source said it is a two-year deal with a player option for the second year. The NBA has a moratorium on signings until Thursday, and deals can't be made official until at least then.
Undrafted in 2014, Galloway was in camp with the Knicks that fall. He didn't make the team but signed a 10-day contract with the club on Jan. 7, 2015, and signed a multi-year deal with New York later that month.
In two seasons with the Knicks, Galloway – who can play both guard spots – averaged 9.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 127 games, including all 82 this season.
As a rookie, Galloway played in 45 games for a short-handed Knicks team, averaging 11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 32.4 minutes per game. He averaged 7.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 24.8 minutes per game this season.
Galloway, who's shooting 34.8 percent from 3-point range through two seasons, is a solid but streaky long-range shooter. He hit 41.1 percent of his 3-point shots in the Knicks' first 34 games this season – including 55.3 percent in their first 14 – before shooting 29.5 percent over the final 48 games.
But he's in keeping with the players the Pelicans have targeted this offseason, joining former Pacer Solomon Hill and former Bull E'Twaun Moore as free-agent acquisitions known for their work ethic, solid locker-room presence and defensive versatility.
The moves aren't splashy, but they fit a culture change New Orleans is trying to institute.
"(The Pelicans) said that they definitely wanted great-character guys and a lot of hard workers," Galloway said. "They want hard workers and guys that are going to play defense as powerful as possible and try to build a team around that. I'm definitely willing to be a part of it."
It helps that he gets to be a part of it so close to home.
Galloway said he and Sabrina consider New Orleans "home, but it's not home." It's close enough to Baton Rouge that friends and family can come see games, and he can easily visit. But it's far enough away that Galloway can focus on what he called "a business opportunity" for he and his wife.
And though Galloway said he's fired up to play so close to Baton Rouge, he's not rushing back. He's in Los Angeles working with basketball trainer Drew Hanlen on "all my skills," Galloway said, in the hope that next season he can "surprise some people."
As he nears a homecoming, he'll have to put in considerable work just to keep pace with his phone, which by early Wednesday evening already was nearing exhaustion.
"I've had over 200 text messages already and numerous calls," Galloway said. "It's just people trying to thank me and congratulate me, really, that I'm coming back home."