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Around the NBA: Isaiah Thomas to sign with Pelicans, Norvel Pelle with Knicks

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Former Sixer Norvel Pelle to sign with Knicks

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the New York Knicks will sign Norvel Pelle to a 10-day contact.

Pelle endeared himself to fans during his stint in Philly, so this likely comes as welcome news to Sixers fans. Yes, he signed with a rival Eastern Conference team. And yes, he was a back end rotation player while with Philly. But the 28-year-old worked his way through the Sixers organization, starting with Summer League and the G-League, to carve out a role for himself on the pro squad. He offered high energy minutes when needed and he was positive locker room presence. Good for Novel.

Isaiah Thomas to sign 10-day with Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans will sign Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract, reports Charania.

Another feel-good signing here. Thomas has been banged up these last few seasons and hasn’t been the same player he was when making All-Star games back in Boston (2015-17). It’s always tough to see a player’s career derail due to injury, so it’s good to see Thomas get an opportunity to show what he can offer.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson expected to land in Portland

Delaware Valley native Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will sign with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to Charania.

The 26-year-old has not played an NBA game since the 2019-20 season, which is kind of bizarre. RHJ is limited offensively, but he’s a reliable and versatile defender. He offers front court depth to a team in the heat of the Western Conference seeding battle.

NBA Execs pushing for buyout market reform

According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, some league executives are upset with the NBA’s buyout market structure. From Woj:

The NBA is hearing the renewed calls from small-market executives to overhaul the buyout free-agency system, an insistence that the odds are unfairly weighted against them and that the salary-cap system has been contorted to satisfy the glamour markets’ supply of star talent for championship runs.

Well, I’d say they’re not wrong. It’s a tough issue if you believe in empowering the players, because what comes along with that is the argument that players deserve full autonomy over where they choose to play as free agents. But a simple solution to an “unfair” buyout market is for the NBA to implement their waiver system into the buyout market, so all 30 NBA teams are given an opportunity to claim a player made available due to buyout. Of course, that’s contra to player freedom. It comes down which two of the following you value more: league parity or player empowerment.

2021 NBA Draft & Declarations

With the NCAA tournament wrapping up this Monday, the majority of programs have seen their season come to an end. That means players who hope to be drafted into the League this July can start declaring their intentions to leave their NCAA teams and enter the draft. Below is a list of the players who have declared themselves eligible for the 2021 NBA Draft (so far):

  • Cade Cunningham, Guard, Oklahoma State
  • Sharife Cooper, Guard, Auburn
  • DJ Edwards, Guard, Duke
  • Charles Bassey, Center, Western Kentucky
  • James Bouknight, Guard, UConn
  • Austin Reaves, Guard, Oklahoma
  • Jaden Springer, Guard, Tennessee
  • Brandon Boston Jr., Guard, Kentucky
  • Josh Christopher, Guard, Arizona State
  • Terrance Clark, Guard, Kentucky
  • De’Vion Harmon, Guard, Oklahoma
  • Feron Hunt, Forward, SMU
  • Jalen Johnson, Forward, Duke
  • Kai Jones, Forward, Texas
  • Tre Mann, Guard, Florida
  • Neemias Queta, Center, Utah State
  • Day’Ron Sharpe, Forward, North Carolina
  • Ziaire Williams, Forward, Stanford