Pelicans small forward Quincy Pondexter will undergo season-ending surgery on his left knee in New York on January 20th, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports. Pondexter has not played this season. New Orleans is eligible to apply for a disabled player exception worth $1,691,012, which is half of Pondexter’s salary, though the application deadline is Friday. The Pelicans are expected to consider signing wing players to 10-day contracts using their open roster spot, as Charania also writes and as we cover in more detail here.
He underwent surgery to repair damage in the same knee in May but it obviously didn’t heal as sufficiently as hoped. Pondexter was acquired by New Orleans in January as part of a three-team trade with the Celtics and Grizzlies.
The news comes as a surprise, considering the team recently announced a one-to-two week timetable for his return, Charania continues. He was expected to boost the team’s perimeter defense and provide toughness and stability in that area, Charania adds. The team has been using Tyreke Evans extensively at small forward in his absence.
Pondexter, who averaged 8.9 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 43.3% from 3-point range in 45 games for New Orleans last season, remains on a four-year contract extension that he signed in 2013 with the Grizzlies. He’s making approximately $3.38MM this season and has guarantees of $3.618MM next season and $3.854MM the following year.