The Philadelphia 76ers, openly searching for a veteran presence in their locker room since hiring Jerry Colangelo as their new chairman of basketball operations, have acquired New Orleans Pelicans guard Ish Smith in exchange for two future second-round draft picks.
The trade represents the Sixers' first notable transaction since Colangelo was installed earlier this month as the club's new lead voice on basketball matters. The Sixers are in Year 3 of a rebuilding project overseen by general manager Sam Hinkie in which Philadelphia has amassed a large number of top draft picks and future picks but has also endured unprecedented losing, including a 1-30 start this season.
Smith has been one of the Pelicans' few bright spots in their 9-19 start, averaging 8.9 points and 5.7 assists per game this season after New Orleans signed him right before the start of the regular season to help them cope with a number of backcourt injuries.
Philadelphia had Smith last season, inking him in February and keeping him on the roster through the end of their 18-64 campaign, during which Smith averaged 12.0 points and 6.1 assists in 25 games as a Sixer.
But Smith became a free agent in the summer and was claimed off waivers by New Orleans in late October after he went to training camp with Washington.
In addition to targeting Smith, ESPN.com reported earlier this week that Sixers coach Brett Brown recently met with veteran guard John Lucas and veteran forward Chuck Hayes, as Philadelphia seeks to add a steadying influence to its young locker room.