LAS VEGAS — New Orleans Pelicans second-round pick EJ Liddell suffered a cruciate ligament tear in his right knee during Monday’s summer league competition and will be out indefinitely.
Liddell went down in the third quarter of the game against the Atlanta Hawks when his right knee buckled under him. In two games in Las Vegas, Liddell averaged 4.5 points and 4.0 rebounds.
The Pelicans feared the worst when the injury happened on Monday when he was carried off the pitch by teammates. An MRI Monday night in Las Vegas confirmed the injury.
Liddell, who spent three years at Ohio State, had received a first-round 2022 NBA draft grade from many draft pundits, including ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who had him as the No. 21 overall prospect. However, Liddell slipped to the Pelicans in 41st overall.
Liddell was a third-team All-American during the 2021-22 collegiate season while also being named to the first-team All-Big Ten and first-team All-Big Ten defensively. He averaged 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.6 blocks per game in 32 games for Ohio State last year.
New Orleans has 15 guaranteed contracts on its roster, having transferred 14 from 2021-22, and the team picked Dyson Daniels with the No. 8 in the draft.
The Pelicans could clear a spot for a deal with Liddell or put it in one of their two-way spots.
https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34233407/new-orleans-pelicans-draft-pick-ej-liddell-suffers-torn-acl-right-knee-indefinitely New Orleans Pelicans draft pick E.J. Liddell suffers torn ACL in right knee, out indefinitely