Pelicans’ Murphy, Pistons’ Bogdanovic Nearing Season Debuts

The Pelicans are optimistic that third-year forward Trey Murphy will make his 2023/24 season debut on Friday against San Antonio, sources tell Shams Charania and Will Guillory of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Murphy, who underwent surgery in September to repair a partially torn meniscus in his left knee, is fully recovered from the injury, according to Charania.

Murphy’s imminent return is certainly welcome news for New Orleans, which has dealt with numerous injuries to rotation players early on this season. The Pelicans just got CJ McCollum back yesterday, and Murphy will further bolster the team’s outside shooting.

The 17th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Murphy emerged as a full-time starter for New Orleans in ’22/23. He averaged 14.5 points and 3.6 rebounds in 31.0 minutes per night across 79 appearances (65 starts), posting an impressive shooting line of .484/.406/.905.

Another sharpshooting forward could make his season debut this week as well, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that Pistons veteran Bojan Bogdanovic might suit up on Saturday vs. Cleveland.

Bogdanovic, who is questionable for Thursday’s matchup against New York on Thursday (Twitter link via James L. Edwards III of The Athletic), has been sidelined with a right calf strain. Edwards first reported that the 34-year-old could suit up this week.

Now in his 10th NBA season, Bogdanovic averaged a career-high 21.6 points on an excellent .488/.411/.884 shooting line last season for Detroit, which has lost a team-record 15 consecutive games and has the worst record in the league at 2-16. Bogdanovic should provide a boost to the Pistons’ 27th-ranked offense.

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