Pelicans say Tyreke Evans (knee) won't be ready to start season

New Orleans Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans is not expected to be available at the beginning of the 2016-17 regular season after having three right knee procedures in the span of nine months.

"He's not going to be ready for the start of the season," Alvin Gentry said on The Lowe Post podcast. "So that's hard. He won't be ready for the start of the season. He's in a rehab situation. So, I think for us, we've just got to move forward with our season. And then if he comes back and he's able to help us, I think that just adds icing to the cake."

After playing in a career-high 79 games in 2014-15, Evans underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in May. The procedure was a debridement to remove loose particles, Pelicans trainer Duane Brooks told ESPN in April.

Evans then bumped knees with Kendrick Perkins in preseason practice, causing a chip in his right knee that required surgery in October.

He returned Dec. 1, but persistent knee swelling -- despite the draining of fluid "several times," per Brooks -- led to an osteochondral autograft transfer system (OATS) procedure in February to replace cartilage in three areas of his knee, according to Brooks.

Brooks said Evans has a history of bilateral knee cartilage wear and trace of fusion on both knees that dates back to before the 2013 sign-and-trade that brought him to New Orleans.

The 26-year-old finished last season with averages of 15.2 points, 7.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds in 25 games. He has one year remaining on the four-year contract he signed with the Pelicans in 2013.