The New Orleans Pelicans have worked out free agent forward Josh Smith, Chase Budinger and Martell Webster in an attempt to replace injured starter Solomon Hill, according to a report from ESPN.
Hill suffered a hamstring injury while working out in Los Angeles, and the team revealed the ensuing surgery is expected to sideline him for six to eight months.
“I think we’ve got some players who can fill in, but we’ve really got to go out and find another guy of that size with a little bit of versatility, that can play some (power forward) or maybe even some (shooting guard) for us, depending on who we try to get,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said last week. “Right now we’ve got to decide if we’re going to add a guy and how we can do that.”
The Pelicans have some interest in bringing back free agent forward Dante Cunningham, but are reportedly receiving some competition from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Smith, 31, is a 6-foot-9 power forward. He last played for the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association.
He entered the NBA straight out of high school, spent his first nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks (2004-13), then moved on to stints with the Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets.
Buddinger, 29, last spent 17 games with the Phoenix Suns in 2015-16. He is 6-7 and has also played for the Indiana Pacers, Rockets and Timberwolves.
Webster, 30, is also 6-7 and last played for the Washington Wizards in 2014-15. He suffered a major hip injury that required to the NBA and has not returned since. Webster is the cousin of longtime NBA guard Jason Terry, also a free agent.