New York Knicks v New Orleans Hornets

Knicks use taxpayer mid-level exception on Jason Smith


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.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
1 Comment

Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
Leave a comment

Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.