4:35pm: Pachulia's surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, and his recovery time will be six months, the Hawks announced via press release. That would put him on track to return just in time for training camp next season.
1:59pm: Soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Zaza Pachulia will undergo surgery on his right Achilles tendon and miss the rest of the season, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The nature of the surgery is unclear, as is Pachulia's timetable for recovery, according to Vivlamore, but the news appears to be a blow to the center's free agent stock. The 6'11" 10-year veteran has missed the last 15 games for Atlanta with soreness in the tendon.
The 29-year-old previously said he's been exercising caution so that he doesn't tear the Achilles, a serious injury that could jeopardize his readiness for training camp in the fall. Whether or not the tendon is torn, teams could be wary of committing to a spot starter whose health is in question. He's making $5.249MM this year in the last season of four-year, $19MM contract he inked with the Hawks in 2009.
The Hawks will miss Pachulia's size and rebounding as they fight for positioning and try to make a run in the playoffs this spring, but he'd have been hard-pressed not to take a paycut even if were entering the offseason healthy. Pachulia saw approximately 25% fewer minutes per game this year compared to 2011/12, and he's never shot 50% from the floor in any season. Only once, in 2009/10, has he averaged as much as a single block per 36 minutes.