In a surprising Christmas eve development, the Sixers sent two second-round picks to the lowly New Orleans Pelicans, and in exchanged obtained former point guard Ish Smith to bolster the backcourt. Philadelphia will be shipping the Nuggets’ 2016 second-round pick, and their own in 2017, to New Orleans for the energetic point man. To make room for the Pelican, Philadelphia waived fan favorite Tony Wroten.
Smith will likely take the Sixers starting point guard spot, and get a huge boost in minutes following only playing 22.9 minutes in the land of the French Quarter. As a bench player, Smith scored 9.8 points per game, and racked up 5.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds. The Sixers, meanwhile, have struggled with keeping control of the basketball, leading the league with 18.7 turnovers per game. In their last three contests, Philadelphia has turned the ball over an average of 24 times, or six times per quarter.
It was reported that the Sixers offered Tony Wroten in exchange for Smith, but New Orleans opted instead to take in the draft compensation. Thus far, Wroten has seen a decline in shooting from the field, as well as his three-point shooting: his 33.8 field goal percentage is seven points below last year, and his 17.6% three-point shooting is almost nine points below last year’s. Wrote has also seen a huge dip in free throw percentage, which has hurt his production considerably.
Even still, it was a surprise to see the favored Wroten cut, with seemingly lower caliber players like T.J. McConnell and Isaish Cannan staying with the team. It remains to be seen whether this is the start of Jerry Colangelo’s de facto reign over the Sixers’ front office, or whether Hinkie is still in control.
More to follow…