Pelicans sign free agents Randle, Payton
NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Elfrid Payton and free agent forward Julius Randle. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Payton, 6-4, 185, played last season with the Orlando Magic (44 games) and Phoenix Suns (19 games), averaging 12.7 points, 6.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 28.7 minutes per contest. In 300 career NBA regular season games with Orlando and Phoenix, Payton has averaged 11.2 points, 6.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 29.5 minutes per game.
A native of Gretna, La., Payton starred at John Ehret High School before playing collegiately at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. After a three-year collegiate career where he was a two-time member of the First-Team All-Sun Belt and the 2014 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, Payton was selected 10th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by Philadelphia before being acquired by Orlando in a draft night trade.
Randle, 6-9, 250, had previously spent his entire four-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers after being selected seventh overall in the 2014 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky. This past season, Randle appeared in all 82 regular season games for the Lakers, averaging a career-high 16.1 points on a career-high .558 shooting from the field to go with 8.0 rebounds – including 2.2 on the offensive end – and 2.6 assists in 26.7 minutes per game.
In 238 career regular season games (182 starts), Randle holds career averages of 13.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 27.8 minutes per game.