‘French Connection’ try to make name with Pelicans

LAS VEGAS — They can be known as the French Connection, or as two players without prior New Orleans Pelicans experience who are making themselves noticed at the NBA Summer League.

Forwards Jon Brockman and Max Kouguere, who both played in France last season, are two nonroster players who have chances of lasting past the Summer League with the Pelicans.

The 6-foot-7, 255-pound Brockman does have three years NBA experience with Sacramento and Milwaukee. Although he’s never played with New Orleans before this month, he’s fitting in quite well.

After starting all four Summer League games, Brockman is tied with Lance Thomas for the rebounding lead at 7.3 per game. He has 18 defensive and 11 offensive rebounds as the only Summer League starter who hasn’t played for the Pelicans before. Brockman is also averaging 7.3 points per game.

“Jon Brockman — he’s the same as Lance,” Pelicans Summer League coach Bryan Gates said. “If it’s at the mountains of Sonoma or if it’s at Madison Square Garden or if it’s in the beautiful New Orleans Arena, he plays hard. That’s just how he goes.”

Thomas said earlier this week that he likes playing up front with Brockman.

“And Brock, he’s definitely helping me on the inside,” Thomas said. “Me and Brock have been doing real well on the boards.”

As for the 6-6, 270-pound Kouguere, he’s logged less than half the minutes Brockman has played.

Kouguere is only averaging 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 points per game. That, however, does not mean the coaching staff is dissatisfied with the Central African Republic native, as he has appeared in all four games here.

“I like Max; very athletic, gets in a defensive stance, plays hard, will rebound, can defend the ball,” Gates said. “I like him.”

Up next

The No. 11-seeded New Orleans Pelicans will close out the 22-team Summer League on Friday.

Thanks to Wednesday’s 87-82 loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Pelicans (2-2) dropped into a consolation finale against the No. 12 Washington Wizards, who lost to Memphis on Wednesday.

New Orleans and Washington play at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Keeping up appearances

Outside of 2012-13 Pelicans players Austin Rivers, Brian Roberts, Darius Miller and Thomas, and free agents Brockman and Kouguere, forward Josh Owens is the only other player to appear in all four games for New Orleans.

Morrow officially on board

The Pelicans officially announced Thursday they’ve signed 6-5 guard/forward Anthony Morrow. The sides had agreed to a two-year deal last week.

Morrow is known as one of the league’s top shooters; he has shot 42.4 percent on 3-pointers during his career. He averaged 4.0 points and 0.7 rebounds in 41 games with Atlanta and Dallas last season.