The Chicago Bulls made a move Thursday afternoon, acquiring small forward Quincy Pondexter and a second-round draft pick from the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Vince Goodwill of CSN Chicago. The trade is of far greater importance to the Pelicans, as the team was in need of additional cap space to address its lack of options at small forward.
Pondexter, who has a cap number of $3,853,931 in the final season of his contract according to Spotrac, has not played in an NBA game since the 2014-15 season due to knee injuries. Pondexter, who was selected with the 26th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, played his rookie season in New Orleans and would make his return to the city by way of a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2014-15 season.
For his career, Pondexter is averaging 5.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game, shooting 42.4 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. What his future in Chicago will be, given the injuries, remains to be seen. The Bulls had room to add Pondexter’s contract to the books due to the traded player exception it received as a result of the Jimmy Butler trade.
With the additional cap space New Orleans can add another wing to the roster, which is necessary in the aftermath of small forward Solomon Hill undergoing surgery to repair a proximal hamstring tear.
Hill’s recovery is expected to take anywhere from six to eight months, possibly ruling him out for the entire 2017-18 season. In his first season with the Pelicans, Hill started 71 of the 80 games he played in, averaging 7.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest.