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NBA Summer League: Pelicans lose rookie E.J. Liddell to torn ACL

NBA Summer League: Pelicans lose rookie E.J. Liddell to torn ACL

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E.J. Liddell, a rookie with the New York Pelicans, seems to have the potential to be a steal in the 2022 NBA Draft. He might no longer put on a uniform during his rookie season.

Liddell, who was taken by the Pelicans with the 41st overall pick in the second round, tore his right ACL during Monday’s NBA Summer League match against the Atlanta Hawks, the Pelicans reported on Tuesday. Later that evening, an MRI confirmed the diagnosis.

Injury Report: E.J. Liddell’s right knee’s damaged ACL will keep him out indefinitely. The injury, which happened during the third quarter of yesterday’s Summer League game against the Atlanta Hawks, was confirmed by an MRI last night. pic.twitter.com/fSU4Cxqj8v Pelicans of New Orleans (@PelicansNBA) July 12, 2022

Liddell was hurt while battling for position on a third-quarter possession. He appeared to have strained his knee in the first quarter as well, and it definitely buckled as he fell.

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EJ Liddell, a rookie with the New Orleans Pelicans and a former Buckeye, originally injured his right knee in the first quarter before returning after being examined by the team physicians. In the third quarter, he had a second knee injury. pic.twitter.com/DIESBfvMwR By Josh Poloha on July 11, 2022 (@JorshP).

After an Ohio State career that saw him win first-team All-Big Ten accolades and sporadic All-American nods last season, Liddell was viewed as a potential first-round choice. As a junior, he put up 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while making enough defensive contributions to be named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team.

Despite his performance, Liddell lost out to the Pelicans, most likely because he was too small for them at 6-foot-7 power forward. It will now be some time before we see him in actual NBA action, but that put him in a position to be a possible steal for a young Pelicans squad.

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