Ish Smith is getting the gift of playing time for Christmas. Dell Demps is trading the New Orleans Pelicans point guard to the Philadelphia 76ers for two second round draft picks. Smith played in 25 games last season for the Sixers, starting 14.
The Pelicans, ravaged by injuries to begin the season, claimed Smith off waivers after Philadelphia elected to pass. With the second-worst record in the NBA during 2014-15 the Sixers were ahead of New Orleans on the waiver wire and could have claimed Smith if GM Sam Hinkie so desired. Surrendering any kind of asset for a journeyman point guard demonstrates the impact Jerry Colangelo is having on the process.
For the Pelicans and Dell Demps this does not feel like the end, just the beginning. Those second round picks might not even be real. If they are it will not be surprising in the least if Demps uses them to grease the wheels on another, larger move in the near future.
Smith played 27 games for the Pelicans and averaged 8.9 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.4 rebounds in 22.9 minutes per game.
ESPN sources say Sixers are closing in on the acquisition of Ish Smith via trade with New Orleans.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 24, 2015