Moments after the window closed for the New Orleans Pelicans to use the stretch provision and waive Omer Asik, the team traded Quincy Pondexter to the Chicago Bulls. Effectively, the move was made for salary cap relief.
Shams Charnia initially indicated the Pelicans were receiving a future second round pick in return, but soon after, word started leaking that it was New Orleans sending their 2018 second round pick to Chicago. This makes infinitely more sense from Chicago’s perspective because taking on salary AND trading away a future asset?
According to my best calculations, the Pelicans are now $4,741,969 under the luxury tax line and $5,327,507 away from the hard cap. This should be more than enough money to re-sign Dante Cunningham to a multiyear contract, and perhaps, enough space could be left to add another veteran on a minimum contract.
Losing Solomon Hill for the next 6-8 months forced the Pelicans to shore up their roster before training camp and many hoped Asik would be the casualty. Apparently, the Bulls decided to assist New Orleans in the process to help out their rebuild.
Pondexter last appeared in a game for the Pelicans during the 2015 playoffs. He has battled to get back on the court for over two years, but has endured further surgeries and several setbacks along the way.
Bulls undecided whether they’re going to keep or waive Pondexter, I’m told. Worst case, it’s a free second-rounder.— Sean Highkin (@highkin) August 31, 2017
Here’s to hoping a really good guy finds his way back onto the court in the league — it’d make for a fantastic comeback story.