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NBA News: New Orleans Pelicans Sign Malcolm Hill

Oct 2, 2023; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Malcolm Hill (33) poses during Media Day at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans will reportedly sign wing Malcolm Hill to a two-way contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Hill’s 24.6 points per game with the Birmingham Squadron in the G League this season leads the league. Furthermore, the 28-year-old is averaging 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.

This is Hill’s third stint with the Pelicans since September, although he has yet to play for the team.

Since joining the NBA as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Hill has appeared in 24 total games for the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls. In these games, Hill averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

NBA News: New Orleans Pelicans Sign Malcolm Hill

What Does Hill Bring to New Orleans?

Hill’s NBA game film is very limited. However, it is easy to see he is an offensive-minded player who can play on the wing. The St. Louis native is 6’6″ and was able to shoot lights out in the G League. And while it is a small sample size, Hill is a career 35.9% three-point shooter in the NBA. His defense is nothing to write home about. However, at his size, he has the tools to hold his own in spotty minutes at least. Additionally, Hill provides extra depth for the Pelicans.

It is unlikely Hill will assume a major role right away, if at all, with the Pelicans. Still, he has proven he deserves an opportunity to crack the team’s rotation with his impressive play in the G League.

Next Steps for the Pelicans

With this move, the Pelicans no longer possess an open two-way roster spot. Additionally, the team has one open spot on the main roster after converting Jeremiah Robinson-Earl‘s contract to a standard one a few days ago.

At the All-Star Break, the 33-22 Pelicans own the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference. Led by Brandon Ingram and now point forward Zion Williamson, the Pelicans are in a good spot for a playoff push. Especially with the NBA Trade Deadline having passed, the Pelicans will likely ride it out with the roster they have now and make minor moves at the most. In the long run, however, an Eastern Conference executive believes the Pelicans must choose between one of their two stars for financial reasons:

The same goes for the rising New Orleans Pelicans, who have three pricey stars and a surplus of talented young players who will be getting big raises soon—a major strain for a small-market team that’s allergic to paying the luxury tax. “New Orleans has to make a decision between Zion [Williamson] and [Brandon] Ingram,” said an Eastern Conference exec. “I think that happens this summer.”

For now, the Pelicans have a good team and could go deep in the playoffs if everyone stays healthy.

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