The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has acquired forward Quincy Pondexter and a future second round draft pick from the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a three-team deal including the Boston Celtics. In exchange, New Orleans has traded guard Austin Rivers to Boston and guard Russ Smith to Memphis. As additional components of the trade, Boston has acquired forward Tayshawn Prince and a future first round draft pick from Memphis, and Memphis has acquired forward Jeff Green from Boston.
“The New Orleans Pelicans are thrilled to welcome back a high character person like Quincy Pondexter to our organization,” said Dell Demps, General Manager of the Pelicans. “Quincy is a two-way player, a multi-position defender that will add toughness along with an offensive skill set that we anticipate will help the Pelicans win games.”
“It was difficult to trade Austin Rivers and Russ Smith”, said Demps. “Russ was only with the team for a short time while Austin is an intense competitor that is continuing to improve. We will miss Austin and Russ on and off the court. We thank Austin and Russ for their contributions and wish them success in the future.”
According to Yahoo Sports, “Green gives the Grizzlies a versatile veteran who can score and defend both forward positions. He is averaging 17.6 points and 4.2 rebounds this season. Green makes $9.2 million this season and holds a player option of $9.2 million in 2015-16 – the final year of his contract. The Celtics are unloading assets – they traded forward Brandan Wright to the Phoenix Suns for a future first-round draft pick earlier Friday – and gathering assets for a rebuild. With this trade, Boston will have accumulated 11 first-round picks over the next four drafts.”
Green (6-9, 235) has averaged a career-high 17.6 points to go with 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 33.1 minutes in 33 games (all starts) with Boston this season, shooting .434 from the field, .305 from three-point range and a career-best .840 from the free throw line. He has scored 10+ points 29 times, 20+ points 10 times and 30+ points twice, including a season-high 35 points on Nov. 3 at Dallas, and has posted one double-double.
Drafted by Boston in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft and traded to the Seattle SuperSonics on draft night, Green joins Memphis with career averages of 14.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 32.8 minutes in 511 games (395 starts) with Seattle/Oklahoma City and Boston. The seven-year veteran has career shooting percentages of .440 from the field, .340 from three-point range and .788 from the free throw line. Green netted a career-high 43 points on March 18, 2013 vs. Miami.
The 28-year-old owns career postseason averages of 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 31.2 minutes in 21 playoff games (12 starts) for Oklahoma City and Boston. Green posted 20.3 points on .435 shooting (.455 three-point shooting) in six games in the Celtics’ first round series against New York in the 2013 NBA Playoffs.
A native of Hyattsville, Md., Green averaged 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 33.2 minutes in 102 games over three years (2004-07) at Georgetown University. Serving as the Hoyas’ co-captain in his junior season, Green led Georgetown to its first NCAA Final Four appearance since 1985 and was named the 2007 Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA East Regional and was selected as the 2007 Big East Player of the Year and Big East Tournament MVP.
Prince, a 6’9” forward, has appeared in 26 contests for the Grizzlies this season and is averaging 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 24.2 minutes per game, while shooting 15-33 (.455) from beyond the arc over that span. He scored a season-high 20 points, including shooting a perfect 4-4 from long range, five rebounds and two assists in 33 minutes on December 5 against the San Antonio Spurs. Prince was the starting small forward for the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in four consecutive seasons (2005-08). For his career, Prince is averaging 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 32.3 minutes per game.
Rivers, a 6’4” guard, has appeared in 35 games for the Pelicans this season and is averaging 6.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 22.1 minutes per game. He recorded a season-high of 21 points, including shooting 11-12 (.917) from the foul line, two rebounds, three assists and one steal in 33 minutes on December 20 against the Portland Trailblazers. Rivers was selected as the 10th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by New Orleans and is averaging 6.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 21.4 minutes per game for his career.
Pondexter, 6-6, 225, Washington, appeared in 30 games this season with Memphis, holding averages of 4.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. This will be Pondexter’s second stint with New Orleans, as he spent his rookie season with the franchise during the 2010-11 season, appearing in 66 games and averaging 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds. In his five seasons, Pondexter holds career averages of 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 234 games.
Smith, 6-0, 165, Louisville, was acquired by New Orleans in a draft night trade this past June after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 47th overall pick. The rookie guard appeared in six games this season for the Pelicans, averaging 0.8 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.3 assists.