Trevon Bluiett left Las Vegas a winner.
Although the New Orleans Pelicans won’t carry a NBA summer league championship out of desert, Bluiett got what he really came for.
The rookie guard signed a two-way contract with the Pelicans on Thursday, according to league sources. Yahoo Sports first reported the news.
It culminates a meteoric rise for the former Xavier standout, whose profile quickly grew from an unknown reserve on the Pelicans’ summer league team to a reliable guard who averaged 18.1 points per game on 55 percent shooting.
At the onset of the tournament, coach Kevin Hanson acknowledged he didn’t even know whether Bluiett would receive minutes in Vegas, much less leave with a contract in hand.
“Going into this I didn’t know if he would really crack the rotation or not,” Hanson said. “But then he really started shooting the ball well in practice and I thought that this guy needs some time. So I needed to find him time and I was thinking of the backup (small forward).
“But when Frank (Jackson) went out, there’s a ton more time for him. He’s been really good for us. And I like all of the shots he’s taking. That’s the biggest thing for us.”
Bluiett, 23, wasn’t drafted despite earning a second-team All-America nod, making 41.7 percent of his 3-pointers in his senior year at Xavier, helping the Musketeers secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Now he’ll have an opportunity to continue his climb, though it’s a far steeper hill to contribute in the NBA than in summer league.
But he’ll have the security of arriving at training camp in September with knowledge he can spend up to 45 days in the NBA between stints in the G-League. If he repeats the performance of the past week, he might even earn his way onto the main roster.
He's at least accomplished the first step. He’s still with the Pelicans.
“I feel like I’m taking good shots,” Bluiett said on Saturday. “I’m a shooter, so anytime I feel like I’m open and it’s a good shot, I take it. Fortunately, they went in."