If the Orlando Magic elect to fire Otis Smith, their President of Basketball Operations, during the 2012 offseason, former New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers general manager Donnie Walsh will likely be a candidate to replace him, reports Peter Vecsey of the New York Post. The Knicks relieved Walsh, now 71, from his duties as President and GM last June and announced he would continue to serve the club as a consultant through the 2011/12 season.
Smith's days as the Magic's GM may be numbered. During the Dwightmare drama surrounding Orlando superstar Dwight Howard, team CEO Alex Martins, not Smith, headed up the efforts to convince Howard not to leave as a free agent in 2012. Further, Smith's recent record of poor transactions--most infamously the acquisition of Gilbert Arenas, but also the free-agent signings of Glen Davis and Chris Duhon--has left Orlando with hardly any cap flexibility during a crucial period in the franchise's history.
Fans may best know Walsh for his deft clearing of New York's salary cap after inheriting the team at the tail end of the 2007/08 season. Tasked with shedding enough space to sign a franchise-level talent by the time the 2010 free-agent period arrived, Walsh did just that, dealing away the hefty contracts of Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford, among others. As a result of his cap management, the Knicks were able to sign All-Star big man Amare Stoudemire in July 2010.
But Walsh, it's been rumored, fell out of favor with Knicks owner James Dolan in 2011 when he argued against trading for All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony. That deal cost the Knicks the exciting young forwards Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, among other assets.
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