LAS VEGAS — New Orleans Pelicans second-round pick EJ Liddell suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during Monday’s Summer Championship game and will be out indefinitely.
Liddell fell in the third quarter of the game against the Atlanta Hawks when his right knee bent under him. In two games in Las Vegas, Liddell averaged 4.5 points and 4.0 rebounds.
The Pelicans feared the worst as soon as the injury occurred Monday when he was carried off the field by his teammates. An MRI Monday night in Las Vegas confirmed the injury.
Liddell, who spent three years at Ohio State, earned a first-round rating for the 2022 NBA Draft from numerous draft pundits, including ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who had him as an overall prospect. No. 21. However, Liddell slid to the Pelicans at No. 41 overall.
Liddell was a third-team All-American during the 2021-22 college season while also being named to the All-Big Ten First Team and All-Big Ten Defensive First Team. 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 after 14 carried over from 2021-22 and the team selected Dyson Daniels with the No. 8 draft pick.
The Pelicans could free up contract space for Liddell or place him in one of their two-way spots.