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Pelicans Add A Much-Needed Center In Free Agency

The Pelicans recently signed a center.

With the New Orleans Pelicans down their top two centers from last season, acquiring one in free agency had become a must. They have now done so. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Pelicans are singing center Daniel Theis on a one-year deal. The 32-year-old will be joining his sixth NBA team.

Pelicans Add A Much-Needed Center In Free Agency

Coming Off A Solid 2023-24 Season With Clippers

The six-foot-eight Theis started off the 2023-24 season with the Indiana Pacers. He played just one game for them before they released him a few weeks into the season. The Los Angeles Clippers picked him up a couple of days later. They were in need of a backup big because Mason Plumlee suffered an MCL injury that kept him out of action for some time.

Theis would fill in admirably in Plumlee’s absence. Theis appeared in 59 games for Los Angeles last season playing 17.1 minutes per game on average. He would go on to average 6.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks. The seven-year NBA veteran shot 53.6% from the field for Los Angeles. While he doesn’t shoot three-pointers frequently, he’s capable of connecting on them (26-70, 37.1% with Clippers). With Plumlee back in the lineup, Theis played just one game (four minutes) of their first-round loss in six games to the Dallas Mavericks.

In 373 career regular season games, Theis has posted career averages of 7.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks. His career shooting splits are .541/.331/.718. He will be representing Germany in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Daniel Theis Helps To Fill A Need For Pelicans

The Pelicans finished last season 49-33 but were swept in the opening round by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jonas Valanciunas started every game for New Orleans at center. He became a free agent at the end of the season, and he has signed with the Washington Wizards. Larry Nance Jr. soaked up much of the reserve center minutes behind Valanciunas, but he was included in the offseason deal with the Atlanta Hawks that is sending Dejounte Murray to the Pelicans. It was later announced that another center from last season’s team, Cody Zeller, would also be included in the deal to Atlanta.

The only centers for the 2024-25 roster for New Orleans prior to signing Theis were Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Yves Missi. The 23-year-old Robinson-Earl, listed at six-foot-nine, has mostly split his minutes between power forward and center. He didn’t receive much playing time for the Pelicans last season though. (39 appearances, 8.6 minutes per game). Missi was selected 21st overall by the Pelicans in the 2024 NBA Draft out of Baylor. He averaged 10.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks as a freshman last season.


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