Basketball

Pondexter traded, but next step for injury-plagued NBA veteran is uncertain

Quincy Pondexter watches the action between his alma mater, San Joaquin Memorial High, and Ridgeview in the Central Section Division II boys basketball championship game at Selland Arena in March.
Quincy Pondexter watches the action between his alma mater, San Joaquin Memorial High, and Ridgeview in the Central Section Division II boys basketball championship game at Selland Arena in March. ckohlruss@fresnobee.com

Quincy Pondexter’s NBA future is in limbo now that he’s apparently been traded by the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Associated Press reported that a person familiar with the situation said the Pelicans have agreed to trade the 29-year-old Fresno native and a second-round draft choice to the Chicago Bulls – a move that will give New Orleans more financial flexibility to round out its roster with a small forward after Solomon Hill’s offseason hamstring tear.

Bleacher Report and others speculate that the Bulls will likely waive Pondexter once the trade is finalized – a move that’s typical in the NBA as teams cope with a salary cap.

The AP’s source said the Pelicans’ compensation in the Chicago trade is still being determined.

The trade was first reported by ESPN.

Pondexter has been sidelined two-plus years by successive left knee surgeries. His last NBA action came in the 2015 playoffs when Golden State swept the Pelicans.

Still, he was a popular player in New Orleans, evidenced by him being named Pelicans Teammate of the Year in last month’s NBA Players Association Players Voice Awards.

Pondexter came out of San Joaquin Memorial High with two other future NBA players, twins Brook and Robin Lopez. The Lopezes went to Stanford and Pondexter went to Washington, where he blossomed as a four-year starter and finished with the most games played in Huskies history and third-most points scored.

Pondexter was a first-round pick in the 2010 NBA draft and has split five playing seasons between New Orleans and the Memphis Grizzlies. Besides his knee problems, he also rehabbed through a right foot stress fracture that cut his 2013-14 season to 15 games.

Pondexter is a regular visitor to Fresno. putting on summer camps. His father, Roscoe, and his uncle Clifton were both All-America basketball players at Memorial and Long Beach State and had pro careers; both live in Fresno.

Catching up with the Lopezes, Robin is a member of the Bulls and Brook was traded this offseason to the Lakers.

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