Monty Williams says Pelicans added Toney Douglas for depth, experience

by Jim Eichenhofer

After deciding not to sign Nate Wolters at the conclusion of the point guard’s 10-day contract Tuesday, New Orleans (26-22) again had an open roster spot. The Pelicans filled the opening Wednesday afternoon by adding five-year NBA veteran Toney Douglas, who spent parts of last season with Golden State and Miami. He has not been on an NBA roster in 2014-15.

Pelicans fifth-year head coach Monty Williams explained that Douglas will provide more depth at the point guard position, as well as some experience. A first-round draft pick in 2009, Douglas has played in 297 regular season games, as well as 17 postseason contests (with New York and Miami). His signing was also partly necessitated by an injury to Jrue Holiday, who has not played since Jan. 12. Holiday could be out at least until the All-Star break.

“We just needed to have some insurance with Jrue not being able to play just yet,” Williams said. “You never know when you may need another body, so we’re going to take a look at Toney.”

In Monday’s memorable streak-ending win over Atlanta, Jimmer Fredette played most of the minutes at backup point guard for the Pelicans.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to stick to the rotation we had last game, but it’s good to have somebody over there that can step in,” Williams said of minutes at backup point guard. “He’s been in NBA games before, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to put him in the game.”

Other notes from pregame Wednesday:

  • Williams on Alexis Ajinca, who has played well when giving opportunities lately but is behind Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Omer Asik in the team’s big-man rotation: “He understands that most nights we’re going to go with three bigs, but there are times where the matchups allow for him to get in as a fourth big. We put a lot of confidence and trust in Alexis. It starts with his skill set, one, but his mindset really helps him succeed when he gets in the game.”
  • Williams on defending Russell Westbrook, an even more critical task with Kevin Durant (toe) again sidelined by injury: “Tonight we just have to have great team defense. We have to make sure we take good shots, so we can get back and form a wall (defensively) against him.”


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