On Tuesday, the New Orleans Pelicans pulled off a massive seven-player trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. New Orleans acquired All-Star shooting guard CJ McCollum, along with Larry Nance Jr. and Tony Snell. Lance Jr. had not played since January 5th after suffering a knee injury.
Well, on Wednesday, the Pelicans announced they will be without Nance Jr. for at least the next month, but probably longer.
Can confirm Larry Nance Jr. is scheduled to have surgery on his right knee Friday. He hasn’t played since Jan. 5.
Sources tell ESPN that Nance is expected to miss up to six weeks.
The Pels acquired Nance in the 7-player deal that brought CJ McCollum and Tony Snell to NOLA.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) February 10, 2022
Nance Jr. is expected to have surgery on his right knee Friday. The team believes he will miss up to the next six weeks. It's unknown if the Pelicans were aware of the severity of Nance Jr.'s injury. But it is likely they were and decided to swallow that pill anyway to land McCollum.
New Orleans currently sits 10th in the Western Conference. That would get them into the Play-In Tournament. If the season ended today, they would play Minnesota Timberwolves. The team that sits right behind them in 11th is the Blazers. So, it stands to reason the Pelicans can hold them off, seeing as Portland appears to be cashing in their chips and the Pelicans are putting theirs in the middle.
Nance Jr. was in the midst of his first season with Portland prior to the trade. His numbers were down across the board. Nance Jr. is averaging a little over six points and five rebounds per game. Most importantly, his minutes had been significantly slashed from the previous four seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He will be a welcomed edition if he makes it back from the knee surgery. New Orleans superstar Zion Williamson is yet to play this season after fracturing his 5th metatarsal during the offseason.