After rumors that he was constantly clubbing during the playoffs surfaced, coupled with the fact that he shot terribly from the field after he came back from his one game suspension vs. the Boston Celtics, the Knicks’ J.R. Smith’s stock took a free fall. He is a free agent, and coming off of a Sixth Man of the Year campaign, he was headed towards a nice pay day at the conclusion of the regular season. However, due to the aforementioned that’s probably not the case any longer.
Judging by Twitter reaction, the growing sentiment among Knicks fans is that they do not want Smith back on the team next year. His sometime erratic play and nightlife activities can create too much of a distraction. Not to mention the fact that if he is your second best offensive weapon, the team is flawed.
However, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, it sounds as if he may in fact be in New York next year, along with his brother, as part of some sort of package deal.
The J.R. Smith/Chris Smith package deal is shaping up.
The Post has learned point guard Chris Smith, J.R. Smith’s brother who injured his knee during Knicks training camp, has fired his agent, Marc Cornstein, and will hire J.R.’s rep, CAA superagent Leon Rose, who also handles Carmelo Anthony.
J.R. Smith is expected to opt out of his contract and re-sign with the Knicks in a four-year deal starting at about $5 million because the Knicks own his early-Bird rights rules.
The Knicks could be outbid for J.R. Smith by an under-the-cap team, though it’s unlikely considering his playoff flop. But having Chris Smith as part of the package has convinced the Sixth Man of the Year he wants to stay. After the Game 6 loss Saturday, the embattled Smith said “I want to retire a Knick.’’
If this is the case, the Knicks need to make some additional roster moves. Granted, that will be tough do to their financial restrictions with their salary cap situation. But you never know; a team may out-bid New York. We’ve seen crazier things happen.