The Carmelo Anthony signing was going to be pretty much it for the New York Knicks this offseason.
If Phil Jackson it was going to accomplish anything else, it was going to be by adding some size and frontcourt depth.
The Zen Master accomplished that on Tuesday by inking former New Orleans Pelicans center Jason Smith to a one-year deal.
Smith signed for the Knicks taxpayer mid-level exception of $3.27 million and takes up the team’s last roster spot, meaning no more moves are on the horizon unless the Knicks make some moves first.
The big man averaged 9.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 31 games for the Pelicans last season before having surgery on his right knee.
Smith, if healthy, is great value at that price.
While the Colorado State product is likely slated for a role off the bench, he could very well end up being New York’s starting center.
The Knicks desperately need serviceable defense from their frontcourt, and while Smith isn’t typically a great rim protector, he can provide value defensively. He also can add value in terms of rebounding as Smith pulled down close to eight rebounds per 36 minutes last year and has averaged over 11 boards per 100 possessions throughout his career.
Smith has proven to be one of the Pelicans more valuable bench pieces the past couple of seasons, but has been hampered by injuries, most notably a shoulder injury in 2013 and a knee injury last season.
If he proves to be healthy for 82 games, Smith should help improve two of the Knicks biggest weaknesses- defending and rebounding, making this a pretty smart move by the Zen Master.