New Orleans Pelicans‘ center Omer Asik is out for the season after not playing since February 10th with a gastrointestinal infection. It is believed he contracted the illness while on vacation in Mexico during the NBA All-Star break.
According to head coach Alvin Gentry, Asik has lost a significant amount of weight and isn’t fit to play. It is presumed he can resume basketball activities in four to six weeks.
Omer Asik (gastrointestinal infection) will miss the remainder of the season and is expected to return to basketball activities in 3-4 weeks
— Daniel Sallerson (@dsallerson) March 30, 2017
In the 2015 offseason the Pelicans and general manager Dell Demps signed Asik to a 5-year $58 million deal, hoping that he could help form a great defensive front-court with Anthony Davis. Asik has certainly not lived up to the expectations while only averaged 2.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, both of which are career lows.
While losing Asik hurts the team’s depth in the front-court, they announced that forward Quincy Pondexter will not suit up either as he has struggled to come back from a January knee surgery.
This will be the second consecutive season that Pondexter has not played in a regular season game, having three different surgeries on his left knee since May 2015. It seems that the knee is not responding to treatment properly and it is unlikely will remain with New Orleans after this season.
Quincy Pondexter has not played in a game since the 2015 playoffs.
— Scott Kushner (@ScottDKushner) March 30, 2017
Pondexter has struggled his whole career with injuries but when on the court has been more than an effective player. At 6’7, he possesses good shooting touch and a rather well-rounded offensive game while being able to play multiple positions. Originally drafted in the first-round of the 2010 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans) he played for 3 seasons in Memphis before coming back to New Orleans in 2015.
The Pelicans have certainly dealt with their fair share of injuries this season, including Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday missing time. With the upcoming free-agency of Demarcus Cousins in the 2018 off-season it’ll be interesting to see how the Pelicans improve the roster to convince him to stay.