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Pelicans waive Thomas, agree to deal with Stiemsma


Posted Jul 10, 2013 1:30 PM - Updated Jul 10, 2013 7:38 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The New Orleans Pelicans signed center Greg Stiemsma on Wednesday, hoping to bolster a front court that recently lost starting center Robin Lopez in a trade.

The Pelicans did not release terms of Stiemsma's deal. However, a people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Stiemsma got a one-year deal worth $2.7 million. The people also said the Pelicans signed guard Anthony Morrow for about $2 million over two years, with a players' option for the second year.

The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither the terms of Stiemsma's contract nor Morrow's signing had been announced.

The 6-foot-11 Stiemsma has averaged 3.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in about 15 minutes per game during his first two seasons. Morrow, a 43 percent career 3-point shooter, has averaged nearly 11 points during five NBA seasons.

The Pelicans announced the re-signing of small forward Al-Farouq Aminu, which was reported last week. However, under NBA rules, teams were not allowed to discuss such transactions publicly until Wednesday. The 6-9 Aminu, heading into his fourth NBA season, started 71 games last year. He averaged career highs of 7.3 points and 7.7 rebounds.

The club also announced it has waived forward Lance Thomas and renounced their rights to forward Lou Amundson, and guards Xavier Henry and Roger Mason Jr.

Stiemsma, who starred at Wisconsin, began his career in Boston, where he played in 55 games for a Celtics club that went to the 2012 Eastern Conference finals. He moved to Minnesota last season, playing 79 games and starting 13. Known for his ability to alter or block shots, he was pursued by numerous teams, one of the people familiar with the deal said. In New Orleans, he'll have a relatively good opportunity to compete for playing time following a July 4 trade that in part sent Lopez to Portland and brought versatile guard Tyreke Evans to the Pelicans.

Morrow entered the NBA with Golden State, averaging 13 points in his second season. He has since played for New Jersey, Atlanta and Dallas. His production and playing time fell dramatically last season, in which he averaged only 4 points in less than 10 minutes per game.

The 6-8 Thomas was waived following a pair of seasons as a reserve. The former Duke standout played 101 games with 19 starts during the past two seasons with New Orleans. Last season, he averaged 2.5 points and 1.9 rebounds in 59 games.

Mason, a nine-year veteran, played in 69 games with 13 starts last season. In his only season in New Orleans, he averaged 5.3 points and 1.1 assists in 17.7 minutes.

The 6-9 Amundson was acquired in a mid-season trade and averaged 2.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in 18 games.

Henry, drafted 12th overall by Memphis out of Kansas in 2010, averaged 3.9 points in 50 games last season, his second in New Orleans.

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