The defensive-poor Orlando Magic moved to address a pressing need Thursday when it signed shot-blocking specialist Jawann Oldham to a 10-day contract. Oldham replaces forward Otis Smith, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday. Smith is expected to miss two to six weeks.
Oldham has played with several NBA teams, but he most recently played with Santa Barbara (Calif.) of the Continental Basketball Association. Santa Barbara played at Omaha, Neb., Thursday night, and Oldham is expected to join the Magic in time for tonight's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Oldham is 7-feet and weighs 215 pounds. He averaged 4.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots in eight NBA seasons. He had his best season with the Chicago Bulls in 1985-86 _ 7.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 52 games. He sat out last season with a knee injury.
Oldham is known best for his ability to block shots. The Magic, which ranks next-to-last in scoring defense, has been almost helpless in stopping opposing centers and forwards at the offensive end.