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Report: Pelicans to Sign French Center Alexis Ajinca
With mixed results from Lou Amundson and Jeff Withey, and Greg Stiesma and Anthony Davis still weeks away from returning, the Pelicans are set to sign French center Alexis Ajinca, according to CBS Sports. This isn’t your typical waiver wire move, however, as the Pelicans are reportedly locking Ajinca up for two fully guaranteed years.
The 20th pick in the 2008 draft, Ajinca struggled to carve a niche in his four years in the league. He received the most playing time in 2010-11 with the Toronto Raptors, where he averaged a respectable 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds. While sometimes described as a bust, Ajinca actually grabbed 13.6 percent of the rebounds available to him that year — better than Chris Bosh, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol’s figures.
Ajinca has since prospered with France’s Strasbourg — where he averages over 19 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes. And that's not to mention his considerable success with the French national team. RealGM.com recently wrote that he is “considered one of the best centers in the Euroleague.”
The acquistion answers the questions raised when the Pelicans unexpectedly waived Josh Childress last week.
At 7’2” and with considerable experience under his belt, fans should be excited about Dell Demps’ boldness in grabbing this guy. Let’s hope his newfound success translates to the NBA.
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