Jason Smith

Magic guarantee Dewayne Dedmon’s contract


The Magic have shuffled backup centers this summer – signing Jason Smith and signing-and-trading Kyle O’Quinn to the Knicks.

They’ll keep a  little stability behind Nikola Vucevic in Dewayne Dedmon.

Dedmon’s 2015-16 minimum salary was fully unguaranteed if not waived by Saturday. Orlando let that deadline pass, fully guaranteeing Dedmon’s salary, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Dedmon is big (7-foot, 245 pounds), and he plays like it. He blocks shots, pulls in rebounds and fouls a ton. He’s underdeveloped offensively, but his size allows him to contribute.

He spent most of last season in the Magic’s rotation, even starting 15 games. Orlando should aim for Dedmon to improve or for him to see a smaller role this year.

The window for Dedmon to hit the next level is slowly closing, though it’s more open than it would be for the typical player who turns 26 next week. Dedmon didn’t begin playing basketball until late in high school, indicating he could blossom a little later, too.

He has already proven himself worth a minimum contract to provide center depth. The chance he improves made this an easy call for the Magic.

Pistons sign Adonis Thomas, giving them 18 players with at least partially guaranteed contracts

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The Pistons already had a pretty crowded roster – 17 players with guaranteed contracts.

They’ll need to trim that to 15 by the start of the regular season, but for now, they’re going the opposite direction.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Adonis Thomas.

Jason Smith of The Commercial Appeal:

Thomas, a D-League All-Star for the Detroit Pistons-affiliated Grand Rapids Drive last season, will sign a two-year partially guaranteed deal with the Pistons today, his agent, Travis King, told the Commercial Appeal.

Thomas went undrafted out of Memphis in 2013. The 6-foot-6 wing has nice physical ability, but his skills lagged a bit behind NBA level when he turned pro. He has continued to develop since, and he’s on the cusp of being NBA-ready.

But it will be difficult for him to make the Pistons.

Danny Granger, whose career has been derailed by injury as he’s hit the wrong side of 30, is probably Detroit’s easiest cut. Cartier Martin and Reggie Bullock are competing for roster spots, too. It’s possible second-round pick Darrun Hilliard needs to prove his worth, but I doubt the Pistons waive him so soon after signing him.

So, Thomas would likely have to beat Martin and Bullock, both of whom have fully guaranteed contracts. Detroit might not mind eating those low-paying deals, but it would be cheaper just to waive the partially guaranteed Thomas.

The Pistons clearly like Thomas, and he’ll have a chance to prove himself in training camp. But this might end up being a way to funnel him some money to entice him to return to Detroit’s D-League affiliate rather than playing overseas next season.

Jason Smith reaches one-year deal with Orlando Magic


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.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Jason Smith, Smith’s face can’t handle it (video)

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Jason Smith is 7-foot. Please remember this while you watch DeAndre Jordan destroy him.

Jason Smith dancing?


Jason Smith dancing.

I thought the Knicks would deal Smith before the trade deadline to get under the luxury-tax line and avoid repeater penalties in future seasons. Now, I see why they had to keep him around.