Jason Smith eager to introduce himself

NEW YORK -- Whether it’s a spontaneous chat with Phil Jackson or the opportunity to showcase his game in the triangle, Jason Smith is downright giddy about being a Knick this coming season.

The Knicks’ signing of the 7-foot center flew under the radar in free agency. But a healthy Smith could prove to be one of Jackson’s better moves if the jump-shooting center fits in the triangle the way most think he can.

Smith can bury shots from the perimeter, block shots and be active around the glass. He’s eager to show what he can do now that he’s healthy.

“Good energy level, smart, savvy player,” Smith said when asked what he wants to show this season while making an appearance at Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners last Thursday. “Pick-and-pop jumper, 15-17 foot midrange jumper, really going out there and giving it my all, selfless player, will do anything to help the team win.”

Smith played in just 31 games last season, starting 27 of them. He had his knee scoped to clean out some floating particles and says he is ready to go for camp.

“Feeling great,” Smith said. “Body is feeling good. Can’t wait for the season to start.”

Smith averaged 9.7 points and 5.8 rebounds in 26.8 minutes last season. He shot 46.5 percent from the field. If he can stay healthy, Smith should see minutes at center with Samuel Dalembert. The two will have to help replace Tyson Chandler, who was traded to Dallas.

Smith may not be the tenacious defender, rebounder or shot blocker that Chandler is. But his ability to hit the mid-range jumper should be an asset in the triangle.

Smith said he hasn’t been told what his role will be exactly or who will start at center yet. In the meantime, he’s trying to get every nuance of the offense down.

“Kind of getting the grasp of the offense and how it goes, it has been great,” Smith said. “I think I am really grasping the concepts of it. The team that we have assembled this year, I think we are going to do great things.”

“As long as we play within the system and everybody buys into the system, that is what makes good teams great,” Smith added. “If we have everybody buy into it, we should be good.”

Smith certainly sounds like he has bought in. Smith described a recent chat with Jackson last week and how he tried to soak in everything Jackson had to say.

“Talking to Phil, he is such a fountain of knowledge,” Smith said. “You always want to make sure that you take everything in that he has to say. It has been great so far.”