Pondexter had yet to play this season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in the offseason, with the team recently announcing a one-to-two week return timetable for him.
New Orleans is now expected to consider several wing players for a 10-day contract, including free agent Elijah Millsap and and D-Leaguers Orlando Johnson and Bryce Dejean-Jones, sources told Yahoo. The loss of Pondexter will be a major blow to the Pelicans’ perimeter defense, which counted on his return to provide toughness and stability.
The Pelicans reacquired Pondexter in a midseason trade with the Memphis Grizzlies last season, and the 6-foot-6 swingman became an integral part of the rotation. He averaged 8.9 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 43.3 percent from 3-point range in 45 games for New Orleans last season.
Pondexter, 27, has played for New Orleans and Memphis over his six-year NBA career. Pondexter remains on a four-year contract extension that he signed in 2013 with the Grizzlies.