Pelicans sign center Greg Stiemsma to one-year deal

The Pelicans signed center Greg Stiemsma to a one-year, $2.7 million deal on Wednesday, according to several media reports.

New Orleans also waived forward Lance Thomas, the team announced.

NBA transactions became official on Wednesday.

Stiemsma was waived on July 7 by the Minnesota Timberwolves after one season in which he averaged 4.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 76 games, playing 15.9 minutes per game. He broke into the NBA with the Boston Celtics in 2011-12 and played 55 games, averaging 2.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 13.9 minutes.

Stiemsma, 6 feet 11, 260 pounds, gives the Pelicans a big-body presence in the middle to go along with Jeff Withey, a 7-foot rookie from Kansas who was obtained from Portland in a trade in which last year's starter in New Orleans, Robin Lopez, was sent to the Trail Blazers.

Calls to Stiemsma's agent, Chicago-based Mark Bartelstein, were not returned.

Thomas agent, Raleigh, N.C.-based John Spencer, said Thomas was surprised that he was released by the team, which had an option to retain him for next season at $884,293. The Pelicans also renounced the rights to veteran guard Roger Mason, small forward Xavier Henry and power forward Lou Amundson.

Spencer said waiving Thomas took some pressure off the Pelicans financially.

"Lance was surprised it actually came to that, with (the Pelicans) being up against the salary cap after they signed (Anthony) Morrow (on Tuesday)," Spencer said. "But (Thomas) understands the business, and his contract would have had to been guaranteed by a certain date."

Spencer said he spoke with Pelicans general manager Dell Demps, and it's still possible that Thomas could return to the Pelicans. Spencer said Thomas, who has been participating in player development workouts with the team, still will play on the Pelicans' Summer League team.

However, he will have to wait 48 hours to clear waivers, according to NBA rules. The Hornets open against the New York Knicks' summer team on Friday.

Thomas, who played at Duke, last season averaged 2.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 10.9 minutes, but he is known more for his defense and hustle.

In his first year in the league, 2011-12 with New Orleans, he averaged 4.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 15.0 minutes.

The Pelicans also announced that they have renounced their rights to Louis Amundson, Xavier Henry and Roger Mason, Jr.

Amundson, who signed with the team on March 12, 2013, appeared in 18 games with the Hornets this past season averaging 2.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in 11.7 minutes of action. The 6-9 forward also spent time with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Chicago Bulls this past season.

Henry averaged 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 50 appearances this past season. After being acquired in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies early in the 2011-12 season, the Oklahoma City native has appeared in 95 games with New Orleans, averaging 4.6 points and 2.1 rebounds over that time.

Ten year veteran Roger Mason appeared in 69 games during his lone season in New Orleans. The Virginia product, signed as a free agent prior to the 2012-13 season, averaged 5.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists while starting in 13 contests during the season.

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