Phil Jackson said he wanted to add another big man and did that Tuesday, as the Knicks agreed to terms with Jason Smith on a one-year deal.
The 7-foot Smith will sign for the $3.27 million taxpayer midlevel exception, his agent Mark Bartelstein said. By giving him a short-term deal the Knicks maintain some of the flexibility they have for next summer when they hope to add a significant free agent.
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Smith, a first-round pick of the Miami Heat in 2007, is a good shooter who can play power forward and center. He has career averages of 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds over six seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Hornets and Pelicans. He missed the 2008-09 season with a knee injury.
In 31 games last season, Smith averaged 9.7 points and 5.8 rebounds in 26.8 minutes. A knee injury cut short his season.
Smith gives the Knicks 13 players with guaranteed contracts, but just five are power forwards and centers.
When second-round pick Cleanthony Early signs his deal, it will give the Knicks nine guards or wing players. Jackson said he would address that log jam -- likely through trades -- to try and balance the roster.
Carmelo's deal. Carmelo Anthony will be paid $124 million over five years, according to reports. He took about $5 million less than the max, and a slight increase in Year 2, to give the Knicks more money for free agents next summer. The reports said Anthony can opt out after the fourth year and the contract contains a no-trade clause.
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