Josh Smith Released by Pelicans After Less Than 2 Weeks

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 30: Josh Smith #5 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots the ball against the Orlando Magic on October 30, 2017 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans announced they released forward Josh Smith on Friday after using a hardship waiver to sign the veteran in late October.

Shams Charania‏ of The Vertical passed along the news.

Smith rarely played during his two-week stint in New Orleans. He averaged 0.7 points and 1.3 rebounds while playing just four minutes per game across three appearances. He didn't see the floor in any of the team's last three games before his release.

The 31-year-old Georgia native knew consistent playing time would likely be an issue when he signed with the Pelicans last month, but he said it wasn't a major concern.

"I'm just happy to be here," Smith told reporters. "I'm not really focused on minutes, or anything else. I'm just happy to be here and get an opportunity to help these guys."

Smith has struggled to stick in the NBA over the past few years, leading to stints with the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association last season and Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Premier League for this year's preseason.

The Georgia native made the jump straight from high school to the professional ranks in 2004, getting selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 17th overall pick. He's also made stops with the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers.

In all, he's averaged 14.5 points, 7.4 boards, 3.1 assists and 1.9 blocks across 894 NBA games. He hasn't approached those type of numbers since the 2014-15 season, though.

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