The longest month of Russ Smith's life is over, and he's coming out of it a New Orleans Pelican.
Smith was selected with the 47th overall pick of the NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, who then traded him to the Pelicans in exchange for former Baylor point guard Pierre Jackson. In New Orleans, Smith will attempt to make a team that finished the 2013-14 season at the bottom of the Western Conference's Southwest Division, and which currently has two true point guards (Jrue Holiday and Brian Roberts) on its roster.
The big winner in all of this might be the KFC Yum Center, which is set to host an exhibition game between the Pelicans -- also the home of former Kentucky stars Anthony Davis and Darius Miller -- and the Miami Heat in October.
After being the leading scorer on U of L's 2013 national championship team, Smith capped his Cardinal career by becoming Louisville's first consensus All-American since Clifford Rozier in 1994. He is the only player in U of L history with at least 1,800 points, 350 assists and 250 steals. He ranks fifth at Louisville in scoring, eighth in three-pointers and second in free throws. Smith also owns the distinction of being U of L's all-time leading scorer in NCAA Tournament play.
Russ Smith is a Pelican. I'm not sure it could have ended up any more perfectly.