Hornets’ Jason Smith (shoulder) to miss rest of season
By Ben Golliver
Hornets forward Jason Smith will miss the remainder of the 2012-13 season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, the Associated Press reports.
Smith, 26, missed two-plus weeks with the injury in December, opting against surgery at the time. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the initial injury occurred when he tried to block a dunk attempt by Thunder forward Kevin Durant.
Smith averaged 8.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 51 games off of coach Monty Williams’ bench this season. He is under contract with the Hornets through 2013-14 and will make $2.5 million next year.
Williams’ remaining big man rotation includes 2012 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis, center Robin Lopez and Ryan Anderson. Davis is currently sidelined because of a shoulder sprain and is listed as day-to-day.
A physical, high-energy hustle player, Smith is best known for barreling over Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin last season, a flagrant foul that earned him an immediate ejection and a two-game suspension.
The Hornets are tied with the Kings for the worst record in the West at 20-39. The franchise will undergo a re-brand this summer and will take on the “Pelicans” moniker next season.