Written by Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
The New York Knicks continued their roster upheaval Tuesday night, signing power forward/center Jason Smith to a contract. The pact is a one year deal worth $3.3 million dollars, as the Knicks used their taxpayer’s exception to bring in the former New Orleans Pelican. That means the Knicks only have veteran minimum contracts to hand out, which could be far and few between as their roster sits at 15 players currently.
Smith was having a solid season in 2013-2014, averaging 9.7 points on 46 percent shooting from the field, 5.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game. Smith’s season was cut short though when he needed to have knee surgery in January. He played 27 minutes per game, as he was an integral part of the Hornets rotation before going down.
Smith joins a Knicks’ frontcourt that only had four big men currently under contract, so his depth was much needed. Depth is something imperative to the Knicks frontcourt, as Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani, Kenyon Martin and Jeremy Tyler have all missed extended periods of time the past few seasons. Samuel Dalembert has also showed that he can play his way out of a rotation as quick as getting put in one. Smith could find himself in an integral role with the Knicks throughout the season if he can keep himself healthy as well.
While not many people know Smith right off the bat, check this clip out and it should ring a bell.
Yes, this is that Smith, the one who laid out Blake Griffin. This is the sort of toughness the Knicks lacked last season too often with Tyson Chandler looking like the Monstars stole his powers and Martin being sidelined too often. Smith should become a fan favorite in New York with his blue collar playing style and toughness he brings to the court.