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NBA notebook: Pelicans, Rondo agree to 1-year deal

Sports Xchange - Sunday 16th July, 2017

The New Orleans Pelicans reached a one-year deal with free agent point guard Rajon Rondo, according to multiple reports Saturday.

Rondo met with the Pelicans on Thursday and again Saturday in Atlanta before committing to a contract with New Orleans, league sources told The Vertical.

The 31-year-old Rondo, a four-time NBA All-Star, met with Pelicans general manager Dell Demps and head coach Alvin Gentry. A former teammate of Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento during the 2015-16 season, Rondo likely will serve as a backup to Jrue Holiday, who was re-signed to a five-year, $126 million guaranteed deal and said he would be willing to play away from the ball.

This will be the fifth team dating to the 2014-15 season for Rondo, who played for the Chicago Bulls last season and averaged 7.8 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 69 games (42 starts). He led the Bulls to a 2-0 lead over the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs before suffering a broken thumb. The Celtics went on to win the series 4-2.

--Houston Rockets superstar James Harden says he will be in Houston "forever" after officially signing the richest contract in NBA history.

Harden last week agreed to a four-year maximum contract extension that means he will make $228 million over the next six seasons through 2022-23.

"Sounds good," a smiling Harden told reporters, per ESPN, when asked how it felt to own the league's richest contract during a Saturday news conference. "But honestly, the only thing at this point of my career is winning, to get a championship."

The 27-year-old Harden, runner-up for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award last season, has two years and $59 million left on his current contract. The four-year extension carries a value of $169 million.

--The Orlando Magic signed free agent forward Jonathon Simmons.

Terms were not disclosed, but the deal worth a reported $20 million over three years.

Simmons, 27, played in 78 regular-season games (eight starts) last season with the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 6.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 17.9 minutes. He scored in double figures 16 times last season.

Simmons was selected by assistant coaches to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge during 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend, where he tallied 19 points, four rebounds, two assists and one block in 22 minutes.

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