News of the Lance Stephenson Groin Injury was disappointing for the New Orleans Pelicans who had high hopes for a possible career rebound and an increased role this season. Stephenson was a late addition to the Pelicans roster after signing a one year deal but immediately contributed averaging 9.7 points, 4.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 27 minutes per game off the bench.
The Pelicans immediately signed veteran guard Archie Goodwin and waived injured guard Lance Stephenson. “They had no interest in letting Lance go, that’s for sure,” said Stephenson’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, and added that Pelicans general manager Dell Demps looked forward to having him back. Stephenson will have surgery to repair his torn groin in Philadelphia on Tuesday and recovery is estimated to last about two months. The Pelicans also have extended an invitation to Stephenson to conduct rehab at the club’s New Orleans-area headquarters if he wishes to do so.
During this year’s play with the Pelicans, Buddy Hield and Lance Stephenson played well together. Stephenson’s intensity and style of play benefited Hield who showed comparable signs of aggressive play as of late. The mentoring by Stephenson to Hield was invaluable and we feel as though Hield will get an increased opportunity to play and definitely needs to step up.
The New Orleans Pelicans have key injuries to two regulars – guard Tyreke Evans and small forward Quincy Pondexter in addition to guard Jrue Holiday who is on leave while his wife recovers from brain surgery performed last month after giving birth to the couple’s daughter.
Archie Goodwin is a 6′ 5″ fourth-year pro out of Kentucky, has averaged 6.2 points in 150 career NBA games – all with Phoenix – since 2013. He will suit up immediately and be inserted into action for Monday night’s game at Golden State. Goodwin was originally selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the 29th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. His rights were acquired by the Phoenix Suns on draft night along with Malcolm Lee from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for the 30th overall pick. He signed with the Suns on July 12, 2013 and played until the 2015 season where he started 13 games.
Goodwin was out of basketball for the 2016 season after being released days before the start of the season by the Suns. He averaged 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 42% shooting in 19.5 minutes in 2015-16. One thing for sure is, Archie Goodwin can fly. Watch his dunk highlights below.