After Friday’s victory over the Washington Wizards, the Orlando Magic waived veteran guard Larry Hughes.
Immediately following the release, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo tweeted the Magic would be signing Ish Smith of the D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders. Today, the Magic did in fact sign Smith to be the team’s third point guard behind Jameer Nelson and Chris Duhon (Well, second, until Nelson comes back from his concussion).
Over the course of his two-year career, Smith has appeared in 49 games, making four stars. He’s averaged 2.6 points and 1.8 assists per game. Smith has played for the Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies and most recently, the Golden State Warriors.
With Orlando’s back court having trouble merely bringing the ball up the floor at times, the struggles of all three point guards and the nagging injuries Nelson and backup Chris Duhon are suffering from, a move for another point guard seemingly had to be made.
Here is the press release from the Magic:
Orlando, FL — The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Ish Smith from the NBA D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders, President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Otis Smith announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.
Smith (#10, 6’0”, 175, 7/5/88) was not selected in the 2010 NBA Draft. This season, he played in six games (one start) with Golden State, averaging 4.5 ppg., 1.5 rpg. and 1.5 apg. in 10.5 minpg. Last season (2010-11), Smith played in 43 combined games (three starts) with Houston and Memphis during his rookie campaign, averaging 2.3 ppg., 1.8 apg. and 1.1 rpg. in 10.3 minpg. He also played in eight games (five starts) with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League, averaging 12.5 ppg., 7.9 apg., 4.3 rpg., 1.50 stlpg. And 1.25 blkpg. in 32.9 minpg.
Smith appeared in 121 career games (91 starts) during his four-year collegiate career at Wake Forest, averaging 9.2 ppg., 5.1 apg., 3.7 rpg. and 1.26 stlpg. He became the first player in Wake Forest history to post more than 1,000 points (1,114) and 600 assists (612) during his career. Smith finished his career ranked second all-time on the Demon Deacons’ list in assists.
As a senior (2009-10), he started all 31 games, averaging 13.2 ppg., 6.0 apg. (seventh in the nation), 4.9 rpg. and 1.68 stlpg., earning Second Team All-ACC honors. As a freshman (2006-07), became the first freshman in ACC history to lead the conference in assists (6.0 apg.) and the first Wake Forest player to do so since Muggsy Bogues in 1987.
(Andrew Melnick is the ESPNFlorida.com Magic and NBA Insider, co-host of the ESPN 1080 Insiders Show and publisher of Howard the Dunk. The Insiders Show can be heard Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST on AM 1080 in Orlando and on ESPNFlorida.com. You can follow Andrew on twitter here.)