Tuesday's roundup: Magic sign free-agent Smith

Associated Press

Orlando, Fla. — The Orlando Magic began free agency by attempting to make a big splash.

After missing on their biggest target, they are now doing what they can to ensure their rebuilding process doesn't take a step backward.

The Magic formally announced the addition of free agent big man Jason Smith Tuesday, a consolation prize of sorts after general manager Rob Hennigan was unsuccessful in persuading Atlanta two-time All-Star power forward Paul Millsap to venture farther south.

Smith doesn't bring the defensive acumen that Millsap would have immediately provided for new coach Scott Skiles, but the 7-footer does have the ability to stretch the floor and shoot mid-range jumpers. But more importantly the 29-year-old says he's excited about the opportunity to help aid in the Magic's attempt to turn things around.

"A young corps group of guys. Lots of talent," Smith said. "I think with coach Skiles coming in, I think he's going to point the ship in the right direction, get a lot of organization (and) discipline. I think that's really what his track record has been, a really hardnosed defensive mind.

"We had a meeting (Monday) night. That was a big emphasis of his was defense. I think we can improve in that tremendously this year. And I think we will."

Entering his eighth NBA season Smith is also coming off appearing in a career-high 82 games in his lone year in New York this past season. That came after he was slowed by knee and shoulder issues at his previous stop in New Orleans.

"Back early on in my career I had an ACL (injury) and you worry about that stuff," Smith said. "But I came back from it just fine. There's always going to be injuries if you play the game the right way. It's how you overcome those injuries. I think last year being healthy for all 82 games, playing solid, it's really turning me around."

Smith will have immediate opportunity to fill a need for the Magic at power forward alongside starting center Nik Vucevic.

The Magic dealt former backup big man Kyle O'Quinn to Smith's old team in a sign-and-trade last week. The only remaining front court players on the roster are Channing Frye, who struggled at times defensively, Dewayne Dedmon and Andrew Nicholson.

"It's a great group of guys that are going to go out there and compete for that spot," Smith said. "No matter who's out there, it's going to be e a great fit for us."

Personnel dept.

The Kings signed forwards Luc Mbah a Moute and Omri Casspi.

... The Mavericks signed Deron Williams, who grew up in the Dallas suburb of The Colony, to a two-year, $10 million deal.

... The Bulls signed forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. and backup guard Aaron Brooks.

... The Jazz have signed German center Tibor Pleiss to a multiyear deal.

... The Celtics acquired forward Perry Jones III from the Thunder along with a second-round draft pick and cash. The Celtics will send the Thunder a conditional second-round pick. Boston gets the 2019 second-rounder Oklahoma City had acquired from the Pistons.

Lawson arrested

Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson was arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol — his second DUI arrest this year.

California Highway Patrol Officer JenniferCassidy said Lawson was driving at a high rate of speed before being pulled over around 2 a.m. Tuesday on state Route 101 in Hollywood.

Cassidy says Lawson displayed several signs of intoxication. Jail records show he was released on $5,000 bail.

The Nuggets said the team was aware of the arrest and would have no further comment. A message seeking comment from Lawson's agent, Happy Walters, was not immediately returned.