The Pelicans are 18-10 with Quincy Pondexter starting, 9-8 with him coming off the bench and 48-71 with him not playing for them in the last two seasons.
An oversimplification? Yes.
But it’s also evidence the sweet-shooting forward deserves a bigger role. Unfortunately, New Orleans won’t get to experiment with Pondexter – who missed all of last season following knee surgeries in May 2015 and January 2016 – a while longer.
I’m not sure what the Pelicans do with Pondexter now. They have 15 players, the regular-season roster limit, with guaranteed salaries and multiple intriguing players on unguaranteed deals, including Lance Stephenson, Chris Copeland and Robert Sacre. Would New Orleans waive Pondexter to clear a spot? He also has a guaranteed salary for 2017-18, so that would complicate the cap picture for future seasons.
But with general manager Dell Demps probably still operating on the hot seat, the present might matter to him more than the future.
If the Pelicans believe Pondexter will come back healthy and productive, even in January, they’ll probably keep him. But if they’re concerned this lengthy injury has derailed his play and Stephenson or Copeland impresses in the preseason…