Russ Smith has been Assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Published: December 6, 2014

Yesterday, the New Orleans Pelicans announced that Russ Smith would be sent to the Development League to play for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Here is the press release from the team:

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has assigned rookie point guard Russ Smith to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League.

Smith, 6-0, 185, has appeared in three games for New Orleans, averaging 0.3 rebounds per game. Smith appeared in six preseason contests for the Pelicans, averaging 5.0 points, 1.2 assists and 0.8 rebounds.

Drafted out of the University of Louisville by Philadelphia with the 47th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, Smith was acquired by New Orleans in a draft night trade.

It is important to note that Smith is still under contract with the Pelicans, which means that no other team can sign him. This also means that an additional roster spot has not been created by moving him to the D-league, and the move has no salary cap implications. He is simply just occupying an inactive roster spot. In other words, this transaction has a pretty minimal impact on the Pelicans.

Smith can be “called up” by the Pelicans relatively quickly. In fact, Jen Hale tweeted a few days ago that she expected Smith’s time in Fort Wayne to be brief. Unlike the other transactions we have seen this week, this move is not about flexibility or improving the roster. It seems like the Pelicans simply wanted to give Smith more minutes, and the only way to do that was to send him to the D-league.

We will keep you up to date if any more news breaks. Also, don’t forget to visit Bourbon Street Shots tonight to check out our coverage of the Pelicans at Los Angeles Clippers.


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