Otis to be named GM Today
Smith could very well receive some votes for the NBA's Executive of the Year award for the moves he pulled off late in the season to spark the Magic. He traded seldom-used center Kelvin Cato to Detroit on Feb. 15 for promising center Darko Milicic and point guard Carlos Arroyo.
A week later, Smith brokered the deal that could prove to be a landmark decision for the Magic. By unloading mercurial point guard Steve Francis and his remaining $47 million in salary on the Knicks, the Magic are expected to have approximately $12.5 in salary cap room to pursue a top-line free agent after next season.
Smith's moves also sparked a Magic team that had floundered most of the season. Once 20-40, Orlando went a franchise-best 16-6 down the stretch. At one point, Orlando (36-46) won 12 of 13 and eight in a row to briefly get back in playoff contention.
"You have to be happy for them because they were willing to make some bold moves and they paid off for them," ABC color analyst Hubie Brown said. "They were willing to make the hard decisions. Now, they have all that young talent coming on. And the way they played late in the season, it's a great sign for the future of that team."