Pelicans news: New Orleans signing Mike James to two-way contract
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Report: Pelicans signing Mike James to two-way contract

Mike James

Rookie Mike James will sign a two-way contract with the New Orleans Pelicans, as reported by Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania:

This is great news for the 27-year-old point guard, who played for the Phoenix Suns earlier this season. James is the first player to ever have a two-way contract converted into a regular NBA contract. He appeared in 32 games for the Suns, but the team decided to waive him after the arrival of veteran point guard Isaiah Canaan, who initially joined them under an injury hardship exception the NBA granted the Suns. One of them had to be released, and the front office chose to keep the veteran.

Out of Lamar University, James declared for the 2012 NBA Draft but went undrafted. He played overseas until the Phoenix Suns invited him to their 2017 Summer League team. He impressed everybody and signed a two-way deal with the Suns, who eventually turned it into a regular contract. Under interim head coach Jay Triano, the rookie found success and was a starter for a short stretch. James averaged 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 0.8 steals on 38.8 percent shooting from the field and only 26.8 percent from behind the 3-point line plus 1.5 turnovers in 20.9 minutes per game in Phoenix.

The Pelicans had already signed guard Charles Cook to a two-way contract before the season started. He has appeared in only six games for the Pelicans. With the addition of James, the team now has both of their two-way contract slots used. Teams are only allowed to sign a maximum of two players to two-way contracts. James joins Rajon Rondo and Jameer Nelson in head coach Alvin Gentry’s point guard rotation.