Veteran point guard Nate Robinson has agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. The deal is for the league’s minimum.
With injuries mounting for the Pelicans, they are seeking more depth and assurance. During practice on Sunday, backup point guard Norris Cole sustained a high left ankle sprain which could sideline him for a while. Luke Babbitt also suffered a left hamstring strain in Monday's preseason game.
Therefore, the Pelicans have replaced Cole with Robinson in the meantime and also added six-foot guard Bo McCalebb to solidify their backcourt while waiving Corey Webster.
Robinson, 31, was in the NBA last season, splitting time with the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers. For the Nuggets, he played in 33 games while only seeing action nine times in a Clippers uniform under a pair of 10-day contracts.
Due to injuries, Robinson was unable to notch a roster spot on the Clippers. However, in limited time on the floor, the 10-year veteran averaged 5.1 points and 2.2 assists in those nine games.
Robinson has been journeying around the league throughout his career, having played for the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, and the aforementioned Nuggets and Clippers.
As a member of the Celtics, he became a key reserve and helped the team reach the NBA Finals. With the Bulls, he also played a major role when Derrick Rose went down with yet another knee injury, and he put up one of the best seasons of his career, averaging 13.1 points and 4.4 assists per contest.
At this moment, it’s unclear whether Robinson’s contract is fully guaranteed or not, but the former first-round pick will surely provide energy and scoring off New Orleans’ bench while Cole is nursing an ankle injury.
The Pelicans play their next game on Saturday against the Sacramento Kings and Robinson’s availability for that game is uncertain.