Quincy Pondexter hasn’t played the last two seasons as he underwent three knee surgeries, and he may not play this season despite the Bulls finalizing an agreement Thusday to acquire him from the Pelicans.
But the Bulls, a source said, also will acquire a 2018 unprotected second-round pick in the move, which amounted to a Pelicans salary dump. The Bulls, who have yet to reach the salary floor, are able to absorb Pondexter’s deal into either salary cap space or their $15.3 million trade exception the Jimmy Butler deal created.
With only one roster spot remaining and a desire still to reach agreement with Nikola Mirotic, Pondexter could be waived. Either way, these are the types of deals — acquiring future draft picks to take on salary — that the Bulls will be looking to make throughout next season.
If Pondexter somehow sticks and gets healthy, he’s a career 36.5 percent 3-pointer shooter in five NBA seasons.
Payne’s pain: The Bulls formally announced Cameron Payne’s latest injury setback Thursday, saying the third-year guard will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. It’s the third time Payne, 23, has broken the bone and his second surgery on it in 15 months.
Payne actually suffered the injury during a July 18 workout and team physicians prescribed a six-week period of rest in a walking boot. But the subsequent CT scan and examination revealed the injury hadn’t healed properly. Though the team didn’t release a timetable on Payne’s return, one source said he could miss two to three months.
Payne has played inconsistently and experienced injury issues since the team pegged him as the centerpiece of February’s trade of Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson to the Thunder.
Staff stuff: The Bulls announced Charlie Henry will move from Fred Hoiberg’s staff to coach the Windy City Bulls, their G League affiliate. Nate Loenser, last season’s Windy City coach, will take Henry’s spot on Hoiberg’s bench.
The Bulls also hired former Michigan State star Shawn Respert as director of player development and promoted Arnold Lee to assistant athletic trainer. Lee served as head trainer for the Windy City Bulls last season.
“His knowledge of the game and track record in player development are a great fit for our team,” Hoiberg said of Respert, who has worked as an assistant coach with the Timberwolves, Rockets and Grizzlies. “He is respected in the NBA.”