With the regular season set to begin Tuesday, the Pelicans officially trimmed their roster to 15 players and opted to keep Lance Stephenson over the veteran Gee. Since his contract is guaranteed, Gee will still receive a full $1.2 million from the Pelicans, and he'll likely look to latch on with another team as an end-of-the-bench piece.
Gee looks to be on the outside looking in for a roster spot through the Pelicans' first three preseason contests, John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
The Pelicans re-signed Alonzo Gee and inked Lance Stephenson to a one-year deal this offseason with the expectation that both would compete for one of the available roster spots on the wing. The competition has been fairly one sided thus far, as Stephenson has averaged 26 minutes per game in the preseason compared to Gee's six minutes. While Gee is the more stable commodity of the two and is a high-effort defender, but it wasn't long ago when Stephenson was considered a potential All-Star, and at 26 years old, his upside may be too tantalizing for the Pelicans to pass up.
Gee is expected to once again fill a depth role in his second season with the Pelicans, though he'll likely see his playing time drop a bit after averaging 22.4 minutes per game across 73 appearances in 2015-16. The 30-year-old suffered a ruptured right quad muscle in late March that cost him the rest of the season, but the expectation is that he'll be ready to go for training camp.
It appears Gee's agent and the Pelicans are still hammering out some minor details, but it looks like the swingman will head back to New Orleans after suiting up in 73 games a season ago. He often played out of necessity due to the vast number of injuries up and down the roster, but offered precious little production during his time on the court, averaging 4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 assist across 22.4 minutes per game. The 30-year-old journeyman has played for six different teams during his seven-year career, so Gee will finally gain some stability by rejoining the Pelicans. However, if the team remains healthier this season, Gee's playing time will likely fall by the wayside.
Gee (quad) has declined his player option from the Pelicans and will become an unrestricted free agency, Michael Scotto of the Associated Press reports.
Gee will likely be playing for his seventh team in his first eight seasons in 2016-17, as the veteran out of Alabama just hasn't been able to stretch together a worthwhile stint with a club to this point in his career. The forward ruptured his quad Mar. 28 against the Knicks and joined a myriad of Pelicans on the IR for the second half of the 2015-16 season. Up until that point, Gee had averaged 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, but was coming off of two straight 17-plus point outings, arguably his strongest two showings of the season.
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