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Pondexter Undergoes Season-Ending Surgery
Wednesday, Jan. 20
On Jan. 11, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported the left-knee surgery would be season-ending. Pondexter still hasn’t played in a game in 2015-16 after he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason, and Charania noted the team recently announced a mere one-to-two week timetable for the forward’s recovery.
The Pelicans later confirmed the surgery with a press release on their website. Pelicans Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Dell Demps commented on the decision:
After undergoing further evaluation from our medical staff, additional specialists, and consulting with Quincy and his representatives, we have collectively concluded that it is best for the long-term interest of Quincy to have an additional surgical procedure to correct the cartilage injury in his left knee. This decision was determined due to a lack of progression in the recovery process.
Pondexter's Absence Deals Major Blow to Pelicans' Lineup
Alas, the player New Orleans brought aboard last season in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies will have to wait until the 2016-17 season to return to the floor.
It is a difficult loss for the Pelicans considering he averaged nine points and shot 43.3 percent from three-point territory in 45 games following the trade. Pondexter boosted his scoring as someone who averages 5.3 points a game in his career and was an important part of the rotation for a playoff team.
Pondexter’s greatest value came in his ability to create mismatches on both ends of the floor.
He checks in at 6’7” and 220 pounds but stretches the offense with his three-point shooting and provides critical perimeter defense. He is athletic enough to stay with many ball-handlers and tall enough to bother shots, and he held opponents to a 1.2 percent worse shooting mark than their typical averages from beyond 15 feet last season, per NBA.com.
Even before this news, the 2015-16 campaign was beginning to appear like a lost one for the Pelicans. Only the Los Angeles Lakers have a worse record in the Western Conference than 11-25 New Orleans, and this is yet another obstacle Anthony Davis and Company will have to overcome after such a slow start.
Charania said the team is “now expected to consider several wing players for a 10-day contract” in light of the injury and mentioned Bryce Dejean-Jones, Orlando Johnson and Elijah Millsap as potential options.