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Knicks use taxpayer mid-level exception on Jason Smith

Jul 15, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

New York Knicks v New Orleans Hornets New York Knicks v New Orleans Hornets

The Knicks have downgraded at center this offseason.

They traded Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks, acquiring Samuel Dalembert. They also re-signed Cole Aldrich, and Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani can play some 5, too. But that’s hardly an inspiring position group.

Jason Smith isn’t elite himself, but he increases New York’s odds of getting productive minutes at center throughout each game.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Smith clearly receive the non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($3,278,000). The Knicks are now limited to minimum-salary contracts for signing outside free agents, but more importantly, they keep Smith off the books for 2015-16. New York’s priority is maximizing cap space for next summer.

Until then, the 7-foot Smith is a good pick-and-pop shooter, though his range doesn’t quite extend to the 3-point arc. He’s also a sold shot-blocker, but his on-ball defense isn’t great and neither is his rebounding.

All said, Smith is a strong addition by Phil Jackson. The Knicks didn’t have much to spend and had a need at the NBA’s most-expensive position. To nab Smith is strong value.

  1. money2long - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    I’ve seen smith have some good games.
    That’s all I’ll say.

    • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:13 AM

      Thanks. You usually say too much!

    • sportsnut101 - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:30 AM

      His block on durant was top ten block ever

  2. ad23mvp - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    As a Pelicans fan, I’m extremely sad to see him go. One of my favorite Hornets/Pelicans ever. Great guy and an embassador for the city. Basketball wise, he’s great in the pick and pop (as mentioned in the article) and is a pure hustle/energy guy.

    I loved watching his improvement since he’s been in NOLA; he really became a solid player. He was the only Pelican that played with CP3 and D-West for the Hornets. He somewhat ushered in this new era of basketball in New Orleans. Thanks, Jason. Good luck in NY.

  3. 00maltliquor - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    I don’t want to question the great Zenmaster, but huh? Hopefully he can clear up that clusterfk that is the SG position.

  4. fanofthegame1 - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    I believe that was all their money they had to spend. I guess quantity over quality at the C position it is. I guess it could be worse.

  5. jzone954 - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:58 PM


    • trevor123698 - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      you are an idiot

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:27 AM

        jason smith

        career PER of scrub level 12.9

        career true shooting percentage of only .511% (not very good for a 7 footer shooting close to the hoop)

        he only grabs, at 7 feet tall, 7.6 rebounds per 36 min’s of court time.

        not the SOFT 6′ 10″ Chris Bosh manages to pull down 8.7 boards per 36 min’s

        Jason Smith is upside down on his ratings. only a 103 offensive rating, which is low compared to a 107 defensive rating which is not that bad. but this means that he gives up 4 more points per 100 possessions than he scores.

        He’s a warm body, nothing more.

        Oh, think I’m being harsh do ya? Well all you Knicks fans are aware of the GREAT Raymond Felton I’m sure.

        Felton’s career PER is 14.3 to Smith’s 12.9

      • money2long - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:20 AM

        You do realize this was a rotational player signing? Why does it sound like you’re judging this as a starter signing? Simmer down.

    • cruzan80 - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:43 AM


      One of…if not THE most worthless stat in all of basketball.

      If you took that stat seriously, it would rank Dennis Rodman (who had a career PER of 14.6) as the 7th best player on the 1995-1996 Bulls. Ron Harper, Steve Kerr, & Tono Kukoc are ranked higher. That’s obviously a ridiculous assessment if you watched ANY Bulls game with Rodman on the roster.

      This signing is about one word….system. Phil is signing guys who will fit the Triangle like a glove. Luc Longly, Bill Willington, Bill Cartwright (old version) were never big stat centers. They all did the same thing very well though. Defended the rim, had decent mid-range jumpers & passed the ball well.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Cole Aldrich was the starting center this season. Is he a better overall player than Chandler? Of course not. Does he fit the Triangle better than Chandler? Yes…he does. He blocks shots, rebounds & passes very well for a big. Those are the kind of centers who flourish in the triangle. Jason Smith will obviously be a backup but he fits what their trying to do.

      This is good to see for a change. The Knicks are getting players who fit the identity their trying to established instead of going after every available “big name” player & trying to figuring it out later.

      • redbaronx - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        @cruzan80 – Right on bud. I’m tired of all the posters/posers on here that use PER to make their arguments. That’s nice for fantasy leagues, not actual team play.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:24 AM

        cruzan, i agree and you can throw the bullcrap win shares and warp along with those defensive stats. All have some little value and a tool to help you with the eye test but you can do anything with stats and also need to quantify to make some sort of sense and make them useful. Here’s an example, if told that durant averaged 36 points and shot 50% from the field you might say MVP. But if told that every game he shot 18 for 36 which is 50% you might say that missing 18 shots per game is not so efficient. Three point shots and free throws help with that.

  6. bkbell3 - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:17 PM


    • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:14 AM

      Tough crowd when they thumb down a test!

      • bkbell3 - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        Yea, I had written a 20 line comment but i used the s-word for poop and my comment disappeared. Then i did one with just the s-word for poop and that disappeared So i tried test to see what the problem was.

  7. charlescub80 - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    Carmelo has joined the “zen master” circus! Lol!

  8. mazblast - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:15 AM

    Beats a blank–I guess. But, it’s not as if the Knicks have real aspirations for next season beyond “keep Carmelo healthy”, so WTH.

    Bargnani at the 5? That would be quite a sight.

  9. genericcommenter - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:44 AM

    Luc Longley, Bill Wennington, Stacey King, Will Perdue, Scott Williams, Jack Haley, James Edwards at 40, Robert Parish at 43, Joe Kleine, Travis Knight, John Salley after 2 years on the couch, Greg Foster, Jelani McCoy, Chris Mihm, DJ Mbenga

    just some of the World Champion Big Men of the Zen-Christian-Native-American Master

  10. cantonbound13 - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:20 AM

    I’m loving what the Zen Master has been doing. It’s been a long time since the Knicks had someone in the front office I completely trust. No doubt we’ll be a top 4 team in the east this season. Last season when everyone was healthy (and idiot Woodson finally started his 5 best players) we finished the season 16-5. That was a better winning percentage than the Spurs, who had the best record in the NBA. Now we actually have a point guard & a proven offensive & defensive system. I’m not buying into the idea we downgraded at center. Phil won 6 rings in Chicago with some of the worst centers in the game. Tyson Chandler was overrated anyway. He was overpaid for a guy with zero offense, & his defense was no where near as good as his first season with the Knicks. I’m looking forward to a solid season for the Knicks. Trust in the Zen Master!

    • klinickal - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:59 AM

      I get what you are saying but Phil isn’t the coach of this team unless you’re saying indirectly that Fisher is his lackey!

    • redbaronx - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      @cantonbound13 – Top four team??? If the Knicks make the 7 spot I’ll be impressed! The Knicks are definitely NOT a better team than Bulls, Washington, Cleveland, Charlotte, Indiana, and Atlanta. I’m penciling in those teams 1 – 6. If the Knicks make the 7 seed I think you should be VERY happy that they get through the season and can rebuild the roster from there.

  11. bux1022 - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Because sportsfan spends too much time not making a valid point ever!

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