The Sixers had interest in re-signing Ish Smith this past summer before he signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Wizards in September, according to Tom Moore of Calkins Media. Smith also drew offers of guaranteed money from teams, Calkins writes, indicating that the Sixers were one of them. The deal that Smith inked with Washington is the one he’s still on, since the Pelicans claimed him off waivers in October before trading him to the Sixers on Thursday. See more in the aftermath of the Christmas Eve trade between Philadelphia and New Orleans:
- Nerlens Noel loved playing with Smith last year, so the move will likely please the big man, Moore notes (on Twitter). Noel becomes eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer.
- New Sixers lead assistant coach Mike D’Antoni is also a fan of Smith and wanted Philadelphia to acquire him, sources told John Reid of The Times Picayune. D’Antoni has a reputation for lifting the performance of point guards, and Smith is set for free agency at season’s end.
- New Orleans plans to keep Jrue Holiday coming off the bench when his minutes restriction is lifted next week, but the team still didn’t envision giving Smith adequate time in the rotation, Reid writes in the same piece.
- The Pelicans created a trade exception equal to Smith’s $947,276 salary, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). The exception can help the Pelicans absorb a long-term minimum salary deal they might otherwise be unable to match salaries for, as I explained.