Ish Smith will spend his Christmas in transit.
The Pelicans traded the point guard to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for a pair of second round draft picks, league sources confirmed to The Advocate on Thursday afternoon.
One of the second round picks will be in the upcoming 2016 draft and the other will come in 2017.
Smith only spent two months with the Pelicans, and was added just days before the season tipped when the injury-depleted backcourt needed a lift and Smith was there to provide much-needed depth. He averaged 34 minutes in the first two games, and was an integral piece in the rotation while Norris Cole, Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday were all either limited or sidelined due to injuries.
In November, Smith averaged more than 30 minutes and dished 8.1 assists per game, vaulting him among the league’s leaders in that category. He meshed with coach Alvin Gentry’s up-tempo system, often dribbling through driving lanes to draw defenders before finding open teammates.
However, it wasn’t enough to help the Pelicans win games.
And when the Pelicans health improved, Smith’s role was largely diminished, playing just five minutes or less in five of the past nine games.
Smith now returns to Philadelphia, where he spent 25 games last season including 14 as a starter. The 76ers are off to the worst start in NBA history, losing their first 26 games of the season and now stand at 1-30 on the season.
"I've been through this so many times, I don't know what to think," Smith said when asked earlier this month if he believed he’d finish the season in New Orleans. "I just kind of go. Play each game. I've learned to think about today. You can't control the future. You can't control things that are out of your hands."