Pelicans forward Trey Murphy suffered a meniscus injury in his left knee during a workout on Tuesday, a team source confirmed. ESPN was the first to report the news.
The severity of the injury and whether it will require surgery or not has yet to be determined but it does put his status for the start of the 2023-24 season in question.
Murphy is entering his third season with the Pelicans after being selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He’s coming off a breakout sophomore season, which included him averaging 14.5 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 48.4 percent from the floor and 40.6 percent on 3-pointers.
Murphy’s game improved tremendously during the second half of the 2022-23 season as he blossomed into one of the most efficient long-distance shooters and transition scorers in the NBA. Over his final 30 games of the regular season, he averaged 17.7 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point distance.
During that stretch from February until the end of the season, he was third in the NBA in 3-pointers made (97), trailing only Klay Thompson (141) and Stephen Curry (100). He was also sixth in the league in fast break points (126).
The Pelicans have high hopes for Murphy entering his third season as his game continues to grow and he matures physically into one of the more athletic wings in the Western Conference. Murphy’s outside shooting is also crucial for a Pelicans team that finished 23rd in 3-pointers made last season despite Murphy’s blistering finish to the year.
The Pelicans play their first preseason game on Oct. 10 against the Orlando Magic. If Murphy’s injury does require surgery, it could potentially put his status for the start of the season in jeopardy.
After injuries to star players like Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram have held the Pelicans back from reaching their potential the last few seasons, Murphy’s injury is yet another issue New Orleans will have to navigate entering a crucial season for many of the prominent figures within the franchise.
After claiming the No. 1 spot in the West for a brief period in December, injuries led to a late-season collapse for the Pelicans, which ended with them tallying a 42-40 record before losing at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the Western Conference Play-In Tournament.
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