Mar 22, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Russ Smith (2) controls the ball against the Saint Louis Billikens in the first half of a men

2014 NBA Draft: New Orleans Pelicans Trade for Russ Smith

After weeks of speculation that the New Orleans Pelicans were aggressively trying to trade into the 2014 NBA Draft to take a small forward the night came and went and the team left the 2014 NBA Draft with another point guard.

 

The trade is interesting. Smith is an NBA caliber defender off the bench and will be much better on that end of the floor than Jackson could have dreamed of being. Smith also will help on the offensive end of the floor where he brings some very good shooting and a fearlessness in attacking the basket. His decision-making needs work but there is a lot of hope that he can at least learn to manage an offense off the bench in addition to the defensive tenacity. The guess is that the team added Smith in the hopes of moving Austin Rivers to clear the necessary room to make the Omer Asik trade work and still having a guard they trust to play backing up Jrue Holiday.

Jackson on the other hand leaves after a strange year of being under Pelicans control yet never playing a game for the team. He tore up the D-League and had a failed stint in Europe over that time but there never really seemed to be a plan for him to play for the team after they held onto him when he was reportedly attracting interest at the trade deadline and still never brought him to the main club.

The strangest part of the entire pick was the fact the Pelicans never really had been tied to Smith after being rumored to be trying to acquire a small forward. With all the small forwards gone Dell Demps decided to jump on a chance to take a player he liked better than Jackson and acquired Smith.

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