Training camp begins around the NBA on Tuesday as the teams prepare for their respective campaigns. At this stage of the year, some clubs are still trying to fill their squad. During training camp, teams are allowed to carry up to 20 players before reducing to 15 regular contracts and 2 two-way players by October 18.
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On Saturday, the New Orleans Pelicans announced that the franchise is signing former Florida State big man John Butler. The Pelicans are limited to 20 players with the addition of Butler and Zylan Cheatham.
The South Carolina native was granted a training camp contract after impressing in summer league. He averaged 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1 block while appearing in four games, with two starts. Butler shot 12/16 (75%) from the floor, 6/9 (66.7%) from three-point and 4/7 (57.1%) from the line.
The majority of his production came in New Orleans’ 107-71 win over Oklahoma City on July 17. Butler had 25 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block in 34 minutes. He shot a perfect 9/9 from the floor and 6/6 from range.
Butler performed poorly during the NBA pre-draft process, but it was still a bit of a surprise when he went undrafted over the summer. It was even more surprising when it took him almost a week to sign with a team and only on a summer league contract rather than a two-way contract. Butler parted ways with his agent.
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The South Carolina native left Florida State after a season where he averaged 5.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 31 games. Butler became the first true freshman in school history to lead the team in three-point shooting (33) and three-point field goal percentage (39.3%). He scored a career-high 16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks and a steal in the Seminoles’ 74-70 win over Notre Dame at the end of the year. Butler shot 4/5 from the bottom against the Irish.
New Orleans still has a two-way contract after signing undrafted free agent Dereon Sebron to a deal earlier this month. That remains Butler’s most likely path down the roster.
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