The Pelicans have waived veteran forward Josh Smith, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). The move reduces New Orleans’ roster count from 16 to 15, since the team made use of a hardship exception to initially sign Smith.
Smith, who will turn 32 next month, barely saw any action during his two weeks with the Pelicans, appearing in three games and playing just 12 total minutes. New Orleans had added him using an extra roster spot the club was granted due to having at least four players who had missed three or more games.
It’s not clear if any of the injured Pelicans players are on the verge of returning. Based on recovery timetables announced by the team, Frank Jackson and Solomon Hill will likely be out for a while yet, but Rajon Rondo and Alexis Ajinca may be closer to getting back on the court. Omer Asik has also been sidelined this season due to health issues.
Smith, signed on October 28, received a non-guaranteed deal, so the Pelicans will only be on the hook for a small prorated portion of his minimum salary. The club will carry a cap hit of approximately $211K for Smith’s brief stint in New Orleans, as Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.