Why was Josh Smith a good pick up for the New Orleans Pelicans?
Yesterday the Pelicans made it official and signed 12-year veteran forward, Josh Smith. Smith was signed through an injury hardship exception. For those who are not familiar with an injury hardship exception, it makes Smith’s spot temporary.
But it also allows a team to go over their 15-man roster when at least four players are sick or injured for longer than two weeks. Each player must miss at least three games in their two-week absence. The exception lasts until one of the four injured or sick players rejoins the lineup.
So basically, the NBA is helping the New Orleans stay afloat until they can get their injured players back.
As of now, the Pelicans have four players out. Forward Solomon Hill, centers Omer Asik and Alex Ajinca and guard Rajon Rondo. Although Smith’s spot is temporary, he increases New Orleans’ chances of winning while he’s there.
Smith is a 6 foot 9, 225 lbs versatile forward who can play the small forward position, power forward position and even the center position depending on the opponent’s lineup. The Pelicans are already in need of a small forward, so Smith’s arrival was perfect timing. He helps New Orleans offensively and defensively.
Smith doesn’t quite stretch the floor for the Pelicans with his three-point shooting but he can still not knock down the three if left wide open. He’s a 28 percent career three-point shooter but inside the three he can help the Pelicans.
Smith’s career 2-point percentage is nearly at 50 at 48 percent. The only bad thing is that Smith tends to fall in love with the three sometimes. Back when Smith played for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets he started shooting more threes than easy baskets in the key and it hurt him.
His minutes started to decrease because he wasn’t making those threes but continued to take them.
Smith can help them with his scoring and rebounding off the bench while one of them is out of the game. Throughout his career he’s averaged 14.6 points and 7.5 rebounds.
So far, New Orleans is 1-0 with Smith on the roster, after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers and it looks like he was a good pick up for the Pels.