The Philadelphia 76ers have announced a trade with the New Orleans Hornets that will send center Jason Smith and guard Willie Green to New Orleans in exchange for forward Darius Songaila and rookie Craig Brackins.
The deal was rumored this morning, and general manager Rod Thorn made the official announcement just moments ago.
“We made the move for these two players to add additional depth to our frontcourt and to add out-court shooting, which was an area that we felt needed improving,” stated Thorn. "[Darius] Songaila is a hard-working, veteran forward who will give us another option up front and Brackins is a rookie that we feel has a chance to develop into a very productive player at this level."
The move comes as the cash-strapped Hornets are attempting to free up space for next year's offseason, when point guard Chris Paul will become a free agent. Smith and Green are both in the final years of their deals, and add similar depth to what the Sixers are now acquiring in exchange.
Songaila is an eight-year veteran, having spent time with Chicago, Washington, and Sacramento. He averaged just over seven points and three rebounds a game, and was a primary bench player for the Hornets last season.
Brackins is a rookie who was taken with the 20th overall selection by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and was later traded to New Orleans in the Cole Aldrich deal. Brackins is a 230-pound power forward out of Iowa State, and was predicted as a late round sleeper.
For the Sixers, the moves add more young talent to the team because Brackins will help bolster a low post that is lacking rebounding talent.
The move also frees them from the guard-heavy lineup they had with Green, and rids them of the frequently-injured Smith, who has not played a full season since he was drafted out of Northern Colorado.
Head Coach Doug Collins is expected to speak to the media sometime today about the moves.
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