NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans signed forwards Herb Jones and E.J. Lidell, and veteran center Cody Zeller, the club announced Thursday.

Jones, a 2021 second-round draft choice out of Alabama, was a starter throughout last season after emerging as the club’s most decorated defensive player as a rookie. His four-year extension is reportedly worth about $56.3 million.

Zeller’s one-year deal, worth a reported $3.2 million, comes after the Pelicans let go of reserve centers Willy Hernangomez and Jaxson Hayes in free agency, creating the need for a reserve to spell starter Jonas Valanciunas.

Lidell was the Pelicans’ second-round draft choice out of Ohio State in 2022, but was lost to a right knee injury for his entire rookie season. He has returned in time to join the Pelicans’ Las Vegas NBA Summer League squad, which opens play on Friday night. Lidell was on a two-way contract before the Pelicans opted on Thursday to give him a three-year contract reportedly worth about $6.2 million.

The 6-foot-7 Jones’ average steals of 1.6 per game this past season tied for fourth in the NBA. He also averaged 9.8 points and 0.6 blocks.

The 6-11 Zeller is 10-year veteran who spent his first eight seasons in Charlotte before one-year stints each in Portland and Miami.

Last season, he averaged 6.5 points and 4.3 rebounds and started in two games for the Heat. He also appeared in 21 playoff games for as a reserve during Miami’s run to the finals, averaging 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds.

Lidell, who is 6-6, hasn’t played meaningful basketball since his junior season at Ohio State in 2021-22, when he averaged 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.6 blocks per game and was named first-team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Defense.

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