The New Orleans Pelicans have signed 2016 first-round draft pick Buddy Hield.
Hield (6-foot-4, 214 pounds) is coming off his senior season at the University of Oklahoma where he claimed the Naismith Award, the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the John R. Wooden Award, the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, and was a consensus first team All-America, the Big 12 Player of the Year and claimed first team All-Big 12 honors.
Hield helped lead the Sooners to the 2016 Final Four with 25 points per game and ranked second in the nation in scoring while registering 12, 30-point performances during the course of his senior campaign. Over his four-year career, Hield averaged 17.4 points per game and finished as the Big 12’s al-time leading scorer (2,661 points).
“We could not be more excited to add a player and person like Buddy Hield to the New Orleans Pelicans,” said Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Dell Demps. “He embodies all the traits we care about in our organization. His work ethic, energy and confidence have been on full display since he stepped foot in New Orleans. We look forward to helping him grow as a player as he will help us become a better team.”
Hield appeared in five games for New Orleans during the 2016 Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 16.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest.
The Pelicans also signed 2016 second-round pick Cheick Diallo and re-signed guard/forward Alonzo Gee.
Diallo, 6-9, 220, was the 33rd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft out of the University of Kansas. His rights were acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in a draft night transaction where New Orleans sent the 39th (David Michineau, 6-3, 175, France) and 40th (Diamond Stone, 6-11, 255, Maryland) overall selections to the Clippers. In his lone season at Kansas, Diallo, averaged 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 7.5 minutes per game.
“We targeted Cheick early in the draft process and believe he will become a good NBA player,” Demps said. “Cheick is a self-driven, relentless worker that is determined to succeed. He showed us flashes in Summer League and we feel like he will develop into a player that will impact winning.”
Diallo appeared in five games for the Pelicans during the 2016 Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 10.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.
Gee, 6-6, 225, who was originally signed by New Orleans on July 16, 2015, appeared in 73 games (38 starts) for the Pelicans during the 2015-16 season, averaging 4.5 points while shooting .518 from the field, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 22.4 minutes per game.
“Alonzo is someone that comes to work every day and gives you all that he has every time he steps on the floor,” Demps said. “He’s a tough, competitive basketball player that can defend multiple positions. We’re really happy to welcome him back to the Pelicans.”
Undrafted in 2009, the University of Alabama product has appeared in 404 career regular season games with Washington, San Antonio, Cleveland, Denver, Portland and New Orleans, holding averages of 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.9 steals in 22.2 minutes per contest.
The Pelicans also signed unrestricted free agent forward Terrence Jones, and re-signed guard Tim Frazier.