NBA Free Agency continues and ACC alumni are being picked up by teams. The USA Select team is filling out its roster as well with some important inclusions.
The Houston Rockets Sign Wake Forest’s Ish Smith
Smith played 15 minutes a game last year for the Phoenix Suns, but their acquisition of Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas meant that the former Demon Deacon speedster became superfluous. He was waived and now he has been picked up by the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are looking to bolster their own depth at point guard after gifting away Jeremy Lin to the Lakers. Houston is not finished yet, and could look to add Smith’s former teammate Eric Bledsoe, who is currently playing hardball in negotiations with the Suns.
The Los Angeles Lakers Re-sign Duke’s Ryan Kelly
The Lakers add another power forward to the roster, but Kelly offers a skill set unmatched by Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, or Carlos Boozer. His utility has a stretch four got him about 20 minutes a game last season. He averaged 8 pts and 4 rebs per game over that time. Kelly is 6’11” and can shoot, but he is another low post defensive liability. The Lakers have yet to solve that problem, although that could be a good sign for recently signed Ed Davis.
The USA Select team invites Duke’s Mason and Miles Plumlee to camp.
Team USA is preparing for the World Championships in August. While they do practice against each other, they need a team they can play against to develop chemistry. This is where the USA Select team comes in. Their job is to challenge the big Team USA and members of the Select team are likely future members of the National Team down the road. Mason Plumlee of the Brooklyn Nets and Miles Plumlee of the Phoenix Suns were among those invited to create this second squad. Also invited was Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic.