Smith was selected 47th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers and then traded to New Orleans in last month's draft.
First-round players receive automatic guaranteed deals, but second rounders usually receive non-guaranteed contacts until they make a roster.
News of Smith's contract came from Louisville coach Rick Pitino. The Pelicans have not commented on the report.
''Today we are extremely happy because he has a guaranteed contract committed, which is awesome,'' Pitino said on the school's website. ''So I couldn't be anymore pleased for this young man right now. It only takes at the NBA level one team to believe in you. We were always convinced that Russ Smith would be an outstanding pro because he can do so many different things.''
Smith's father, Russ Smith Sr., also told the Louisville Courier Journal that his son agreed to a two-year contract with a third-year option.
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