New Orleans Pelicans: Who is surprise two-way contract?

Izaiah Brockington #1 of the Iowa State Cyclones (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Izaiah Brockington #1 of the Iowa State Cyclones (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans have had a quiet offseason after drafting Dyson Daniels, EJ Liddell and Karlo Matkovic in the 2022 NBA Draft.

It was a Summer League disaster for the Pelicans’ incoming rookies, as Daniels went out with an ankle injury after just eight minutes and Liddell suffered a knee injury that put him out for the season.

It was particularly awful for second-round pick Liddell, who had yet to sign an NBA contract and could be left out in the cold. It’s likely he’ll end up on a G-League contract now after eyeing a two-way or even a full-time contract before Summer League.

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The two-way option is now gone (for now) as the Pelicans signed Dereon Seabron after a strong Summer League and it was reported yesterday that the second two-way went to a guy who was not on most people’s radar:

Izaiah Brockington is not a guy I had heard much about coming into the draft, as he suffered an injury and went un-drafted. But the guard does have some qualities that fit what the New Orleans Pelicans are building.

New Orleans Pelicans: Izaiah Brockington’s strengths and weaknesses

Brockington played four seasons of college basketball, one for St. Bonaventure, two for Penn State and one for Iowa State, so he is well-traveled and already 23-years-old.

He got better every year, culminating in his senior season when he averaged 16.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals as a guard for the Cyclones.

Brockington is a high-motor guard who gets after it on defense and rebounds his position well. He is a plus athlete who plays above the rim and is a good finisher. He took most of his shots in the mid-range and near the rim, though he did improve to 36 percent from the 3-point line in his final season in college.

His energy and motor will fit right in with what the New Orleans Pelicans are building, as they have had good luck with players like Herbert Jones and Jose Alvarado, guys who provide a spark on the defensive end.

The Pels have been very good at identifying these types of players later and even outside the draft, so are hoping they found another strong on-the-ball defender who can create havoc on that end.

Aside from his age and injury Brockington is not a consistent shooter, which could hold him back in the NBA, where everyone is super athletic and he won’t be able to get to the rim as easily. If he makes it onto the Pelicans’ roster, it will likely be because of his defensive versatility and motor.

This was a somewhat surprising signing, but he is expected to be back some time this season, while Liddell is definitely out for its entirety, so it makes sense to let Liddell rehab in the G-League and take a chance on someone else.

I thought that final contract might go to someone like John Butler, but the New Orleans Pelicans went with a guy who better fits their vision for role players.

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