Marc Stein has news for the 76ers' first player personnel move since the Jerry Colangelo hiring, and it brings back a familiar face.
ESPN sources say Sixers are closing in on the acquisition of Ish Smith via trade with New Orleans.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 24, 2015
The Sixers are acquiring guard Ish Smith from the Pelicans for two future second round picks, a source told Yahoo Sports.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) December 24, 2015
Smith started 14 games for the Sixers last season, playing in 25 overall, and averaged 12 points and 6 assists in his best NBA opportunity to date. The Sixers chose not to re-sign him over the summer, as he signed a camp deal with the Wizards instead, and did not take the opportunity to claim him on waivers when he was released in October. New Orleans claimed him, and for two months of Smith get two future second round picks, reportedly in 2016 and 2017.
This trade is surprising especially since the Pelicans were reportedly worried about the Sixers jumping to claim him.
The picks are a significant price to pay for a player the team could have had for free in October, whose contract expires after this season, and who has played for 10 teams in a 6-year journeyman's career. But Smith should help the team in the short-term, which appears to be the edict laid down by team (and league?) ownership. And with four potential first round picks in this year's draft, the ability for the team to use second round draft picks as anything more than rights players will be difficult.
The Sixers hit their roster limit with this move, meaning someone will likely be losing their job... on Christmas or Christmas Eve. Best wishes to whoever gets that call.