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Kira Lewis Jr. suffers torn ACL, to miss rest of season

Pelicans second-year guard will be sidelined the rest of 2021-22.

Kira Lewis Jr. #13 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots against Facundo Campazzo #7 of the Denver Nuggets and Bones Hyland #3 during the first half at the Smoothie King Center on December 08, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

New Orleans Pelicans PG Kira Lewis Jr. will miss the rest of the 2021-22 NBA season due to a torn ACL, the team announced on Thursday. Lewis also has a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his right knee. He sustained the injury in Wednesday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets, exiting in the second quarter.

This is a tough break for the Pelicans, who are in last place in the Western Conference at 7-20. New Orleans’ playoff hopes have almost completely evaporated and now things just got worse. Through 24 games this season, Lewis was averaging 5.9 points and 2.0 assists. He wasn’t making a big impact, but was viewed as a potential piece for the future, a future that keeps getting more bleak.

With Lewis out, the Pelicans will use a PG rotation of Devonte’ Graham and Tomas Satoransky. Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Josh Hart can handle the ball a bit as well. So in terms of the guard rotation, really things go unaffected. Sato could see some more minutes off the bench, but the back court minutes will likely go to Graham, NAW and Hart.

The Pelicans continue to await the return of All-Star PF Zion Williamson, who remains sidelined recovering from offseason foot surgery. Williamson is close to a return and has been back at practice doing individual drills with the team. He could return soon but needs to get cleared for full practice and get some scrimmages in. By that time, it may be too late for Zion to return and make an impact on the Pels’ playoff hopes.