The New York Knicks have had a busy offseason, and has so far assembled a strong frontcourt. Among the big guys, we can set aside Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani, who will probably be the starting center and power forward respectively. That leaves the Knicks with three other big men who will fight for rotation spots during the season: Cole Aldrich, Samuel Dalembert and Jason Smith.
Aldrich and Dalembert have pretty similar games as rebounders and defense-oriented centers who can only operate within the limits of the paint. They are both old-school big men, guys designed to protect the rim and act as the pivot on the offensive end.
Smith, on the other hand, is a mix of that with the new generation of centers.
Easily qualified as a perimeter-scoring big man, Smith is not going to post-up Kendrick Perkins or defend him efficiently for that matter; however, he will be able to stretch the floor, spreading the defense and opening up the paint, something essential in the dynamics of the triangle offense.
A mid-range kind of player, he will have plenty of chances to showcase his scoring skills considering the whole frontcourt roster is not exactly a young bunch of healthy players. Be it backing-up Bargnani as a power forward or giving Stoudemire a breather as center, he will get some solid minutes with his versatility alone.
During his six-year career, Smith’s numbers have been pretty modest ar 16.7 MPG, 6.0 PPG, 47.2 FG% and 3.5 RPG, but having the opportunity to play at the Madison Square Garden in front of the biggest media market in sports will certainly elevate his motivation. He should take his game to the next level and become an important rotation piece for the Knicks for years to come.