NBA News: Ajinca to Sign with New Orleans

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By James Patrick Quizon | December 19, 2013 9:28 AM EST

A Frenchman is going to New Orleans. Center Alexis Ajinca is set to sign with the Pelicans in the NBA with reports that the center is finalizing a buyout with his current Euro squad Strasbourg.

The deal with New Orleans is apparently worth two years for the league minimum, according to CBSSports.com. A standard NBA buyout is at $575,000 and as per Ajinca’s NBA agent Mark Bartelstein a few things have to be ironed out before the deal becomes official.

If the signing pushes through, the Pelicans will add depth to their big man rotation after losing star forward Anthony Davis to an injury weeks ago. Ajinca will join Jason Smith, Jeff Withey, Lou as the centers in the Pelicans’ depth chart.

Ajinca was picked 20th in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats. He played a total of 37 games for the Bobcats but saw minimal minutes. He suited up for the Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors in the 2010-2011 season.

The 7-foot-2 Ajinca leads Strasbourg in scoring with 13.9 points per game (53.6 field goal percentage) in 12 outings in the 2013-2014 season in the French league. He also averages 6.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots—both team-highs.

The Pelicans waived guard-forward Josh Childress Friday in an apparent move to clear roster space for Ajinca.

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