The New Orleans Pelicans dealt with a flurry of injuries in their frontcourt last season and will be starting the 2023-24 campaign shorthanded as well. Trey Murphy III suffered a meniscus tear during a workout earlier this month and is expected to miss 10-12 weeks after undergoing surgery, the team announced on Thursday. Based on that timeline, Murphy could be back sometime in the second half of November.
Murphy had a breakout campaign in his sophomore season with the Pelicans. The Virginia product appeared in 79 games and posted career highs in points (14.6), rebounds (3.6), and assists per game (1.4). He also demonstrated elite efficiency as a scorer by converting 48.4 percent of his field goal attempts and 40.6 percent of his three-point attempts. He was one of the six players last season who made at least 200 triples while shooting better than 40 percent from deep. Others included Stephen Curry, Buddy Hield, and Klay Thompson.
New Orleans added a much-needed floor general in CJ McCollum at the 2022 trade deadline to run the offense, but the Pelicans' leading scorers can't seem to stay on the court to help him lessen his workload. Brandon Ingram missed 37 games last season while Zion Williamson missed 53. New Orleans has plenty of versatile wings in Herbert Jones, Naji Marshall, and Dyson Daniels, but they all shot under the league average from distance last season. The Pelicans were a middle-of-the-road shooting team and could seriously struggle with spacing without a reliable sniper on the wing.