The New York Knicks wanted to retain center Jason Smith, but under the rules of the CBA they could only offer him $2.8 million.
That was not enough to get the deal done.
The Orlando Magic came in at $4.5 million and won the day, something announced first by Smith’s agency, Priority Sports.
The Knicks had gotten Orlando big man Kyle O’Quinn in a sign-and-trade deal with the Magic, which was one of Phil Jackson’s smart moves this summer. Consider this the Magic returning the favor. The teams are essentially swapping reserve bigs.
Smith played in every Knicks game last season, started 31 of them, and averaged eight points and four rebounds a night. He’s a midrange shooter, 65 percent of his shot attempts came between 10 feet out and the arc last season, but he hit a respectable 46 percent of them. That fit well in the triangle.
In Orlando, he will be the primary backup for Nikola Vucivic and he should get some quality run.