As it was expected to be once the offseason started Jason Smith‘s career in New Orleans is now officially over, as the veteran center has agreed to become the newest member of the New York Knicks.
Free agent Jason Smith has signed a one-year, $3.3M deal with the New York Knicks, league source tells RealGM.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 15, 2014
Smith spent the last four years with the Pelicans after being traded to the team in September of 2010 for Darius Songalia and Craig Brackins. During his career in New Orleans Smith was a solid, dependable average player who seemed to do a bit of whatever the Pelicans needed out of the center spot. The 2011-2012 season was the highlight of Smith’s career as he averaged 23.7 minutes per game and started in 29 of the 40 games he appeared in for the then Hornets. That year Smith averaged 9.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in the middle.
Smith started to reach those heights again last season when he started 27 games for the Pelicans but a knee injury ended his season just 31 games after it started, shortening what was a chance for Smith to earn his first big contract. With Alexis Ajinca, Anthony Davis, and Ryan Anderson already on the roster, the acquistion of Omer Asik and the signing of Patric Young to a summer leage contract the writing was had been the wall that Smith’s time in New Orleans was done since free agency started.
The Pelicans have now lost two players to other teams during free agency (Smith and Brian Roberts) with another player still on the market in Al-Farouq Aminu. Meanwhile they have added Asik via trade and John Salmons through free agency and still seem to be searching for bargain deals on the wings to fill things out.