Reports: Veteran forward Josh Smith to sign with New Orleans Pelicans

NBA.com staff reports

With the New Orleans Pelicans dealing with injuries, veteran forward Josh Smith plans to sign with the team. The news, which was first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical, has also been reported by ESPN.com and The Times-Picayune.

Here’s more from Charania on the Pelicans’ latest addition, who is expected to signed in time to play against the Sacramento Kings tonight:

Smith’s agent, Wallace Prather, finalized the agreement on Wednesday. Smith is traveling to Sacramento and is expected to be available for the Pelicans’ road game against the Kings on Thursday night, league sources said.

Smith, a 12-year NBA veteran, is expected to provide the Pelicans with additional frontcourt depth and playmaking. All-Star forward Anthony Davis suffered a left knee injury in Tuesday’s road loss in Portland and is questionable to play Thursday, league sources said.

Smith has averaged 14.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in his NBA career with Atlanta, Detroit, the Clippers and Houston. He worked out for the Pelicans in the summer and has close relationships with Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins and guard Rajon Rondo.

Smith, 31, last played in the NBA in 2015-16 with Houston. He has since played overseas, including in China, and in three preseason games against NBA teams in training camp with Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Basketball Premier League.

Smith will reportedly be signing with New Orleans under a hardship exception, due to injuries to Rajon Rondo, Alexis Ajinca and Frank Jackson. All-Star forward Anthony Davis left the Pelicans’ loss in Portland on Tuesday night in the first quarter after injuring his left knee. MRI results were negative, but Davis remains day-to-day.