Report: Pelicans work out Josh Smith, Chase Budinger, Martell Webster
Reclamation projects appear to be one route the New Orleans Pelicans are taking to try and replace injured starting forward Solomon Hill.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on his podcast that Josh Smith, Chase Budinger and Martell Webster recently worked out for the team.
The 31-year old Smith has not played in the NBA since the 2015-16 season. He most recently played in China for the Sichuan Blue Whales last season. Before his foreign stint, Smith averaged 14.6 points on 45.3 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.9 blocks over 12 seasons with the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Clippers.
Budinger and Webster, like Smith, are experienced NBA veterans who can play on the perimeter but neither distinguished himself as much more than role players in their previous stops.
New Orleans must fill the gap for most of the upcoming season from the loss of Hill, who suffered a torn hamstring this offseason. He will miss 6-8 months.
Unless Pelicans GM Dell Demps explores options including trades and using the stretch provision on center Amer Asik, he has no salary cap room with which to work in hopes of signing a better free agent to help replace Hill.
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