Mekel joins New Orleans


Gal Mekel has signed for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The 26 year-old Israeli point guard made his debut in the Pelicans' 120-100 defeat to the LA Clippers and then helped his team beat the LA Lakers 104-87 on Sunday night, scoring his first two points for the club, and making four assists during 12 minutes on the court.

Mekel was considered unlucky to be released by the Dallas Mavericks in October after an impressive start in the NBA last season. The former Maccabi Haifa player was about to join the Indiana Pacers last month, but the deal fell through due to problems over Mekel renewing his visa. The issues surrounding the visa have now been resolved.

Mekel has joined the Pelicans to beef up their passing game. He said: "I’m really hungry to play and I really believe I can help this team.

"I had a great pre-season and a great game against the Pelicans. At the point guard position, I can run a team, get guys open, help on defence, and create shots."

The Pelicans are bottom of the Western Division and must be regretting waiving the right to keep Omri Casspi who was signed in the summer and released to the Sacramento Kings in October. The Israeli scored 22 points when the Kings beat the Pelicans last month.

Next week Mekel will meet David Blatt's Cleveland Cavaliers who have won their last five matches.

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