SEPTEMBER 1, 2:55pm: The deal is now official, the Pelicans announced in a press release.
In exchange for Pondexter, a 2018 second-rounder, and cash, the Bulls are sending the Pelicans the draft rights to Ater Majok, according to Brett Martel of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Majok, a 2011 pick who is currently playing in Lebanon, had his rights traded from the Lakers to Chicago in last summer’s Jose Calderon swap.
AUGUST 31, 4:52pm: There has been a clarification regarding the trade courtesy of CSN Chicago’s Vincent Goodwill. The Bulls will receive Pondexter and a 2018 second-pick, as well as cash.
4:44pm: The Bulls and Pelicans are finalizing a trade that would send Quincy Pondexter to Chicago for a second-round draft pick, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets. An update, however, suggests that it will be New Orleans giving up the pick in addition to Pondexter.
Pondexter hasn’t seen NBA action since 2014/15 when he started 28 games for the Pelicans and 30 contests total. Since then, he’s struggled through a particularly troublesome knee injury, his health remaining in limbo ahead of the 2017/18 season.
While the Bulls may end up ultimately waiving Pondexter, the second-round pick will serve them well as they navigate a long anticipated rebuild. The addition of Pondexter’s $3.9MM contract will presumably be absorbed into Chicago’s $15.3MM trade exception, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.
Considering New Orleans’ need for a perimeter threat in light of Solomon Hill‘s long-term hamstring injury, the 29-year-old Pondexter would be an extremely valuable asset for the franchise if there was any sense of optimism that he could be healthy for the upcoming campaign. In June, however, general manager Dell Demps spoke about how uncertain the forward’s status was.
We had previously identified Pondexter as a candidate to be waived and stretched before the August 31 deadline, particularly given New Orleans’ proximity to the tax line. However, by finding a trade partner for the veteran swingman, the Pelicans will avoid carrying his cap hit in 2017/18 or stretching it across the next three seasons.