Smith played at Jacksonville University (JU) from 1982–1986 and earned a degree in marketing and management. He became the only player in school history to tally more than 1,700 points and 900 rebounds in his collegiate career. In 1986, he was named the Sun Belt Men"s Basketball Tournament Most Valuable Player. His jersey was retired at Jacksonville University in 2002.
He is currently the head coach for the Grand Rapids Drive of the National Basketball Association Development League. Smith was taken with the 17th pick in the second round of the 1986 National Basketball Association Draft out of Jacksonville University by the Denver Nuggets. He played one full season and part of a second with the Nuggets before being traded to the Golden State Warriors during the 1987-1988 season.
He played the remainder of that season and the 1988-1989 season with the Warriors.
He was on the roster for the team"s inaugural game in the 1989-1990 season, and he played there through the 1991-1992 season. He posted career highs of 13.9 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game in 1991 with the Magic.
Smith retired with a knee injury after his sixth season, playing in 375 games, with career averages of 10.5 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, and 1.8 assists per game. After taking a hiatus for three years, Smith came out of player retirement in October, 1996 to sign with the Solna Vikings in the Sweden Professional League.
He was named Most Valuable Player of Swedish League in 1997, but decided to leave on a high note and not play a second year.
Smith became Director of Community Relations for the Orlando Magic from 1996–1998, then was Vice President of Marketing & Community Relations for Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida for a year from 1998 to 1999. However, he missed basketball, and joined the Golden State Warriors Foundation as Executive Director of Community Relations from 1999 to August 2002. During the 2002-2003 season, he worked as Executive Director of Basketball Operations for Golden State.
Returning to Florida, he spent two years as Director of Player Development for the Magic, then was promoted to Company-General Manager for 2005-2006 season.
He was named General Manager of the Orlando Magic on May 3, 2006. He agreed to step down from his job as the General Manager of the Orlando Magic on May 21, 2012.
On September 3, 2014, Smith was named the head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive of the National Basketball Association Development League. Otis Smith became involved with Volunteers for Youth, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America when he was in college.
In 1989, he founded the Otis F. Smith Foundation (later renamed, the Otis Smith Kids Foundation) which started out conducting free basketball clinics, but grew to include free summer day camps, tutoring, field trips, and health screenings.
Otis Smith became a member of the Orlando Magic on June 15, 1989 as one of the 12 players selected in the 1989 National Basketball Association Expansion Draft.