The Pelicans announced Friday that point guard Jrue Holiday has undergone season-ending surgery to address a stress fracture in his right tibia.
Holiday, 23, was diagnosed with the leg injury in January. Before his injury, New Orleans posted a 15-19 record. Since the injury, New Orleans has gone 8-15 and has fallen 10 games out of the Western Conference's playoff picture.
The 2013 All-Star had played in every game for New Orleans before the injury, averaging 14.3 points, a team-high 7.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals while shooting 44.7 percent overall and 39 percent from three-point range. Holiday, a 2009 first round pick out of UCLA, ranked among the NBA’s top 10 in assists per game at the time of his injury. Entering this season, Holiday had missed just five games combined over the three previous seasons.
Coach Monty Williams has replaced Holiday with Brian Roberts, who is averaging 8.7 points and 3.2 assists in 21.8 minutes this season.
The Pelicans have been making do without forward Ryan Anderson (herniated disk) and center Jason Smith (knee), who were both lost to long-term injuries. Holiday holds career averages of 13.5 points, 6 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals, and he is in the first year of a four-year, $41 million rookie contract extension. New Orleans acquired Holiday in a 2013 draft-day trade that sent No. 6 pick Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick (top-five protected) to Philadelphia. The Pelicans possess the league's 11th-worst record, meaning that pick is very likely to convey to the Sixers unless New Orleans nabs a top-three selection in the lottery drawing.