May 6, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) dribbles around Miami Heat small forward Shane Battier (31) during the second half of game four in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 89-87. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

J.R. Smith Opts Out of Contract


May 6, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) shoots over Miami Heat small forward Shane Battier (31) during the second half of game four in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 89-87. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

New York Knicks swingman J.R. Smith finally made a decision on his contract status for the 2012-13 season and as many expected, Smith will opt-out of his current contract with the club.

Howard Beck posted the following via Twitter:

 

Knicks fans shouldn’t get too upset though. Smith will still likely re-sign with the team. As per the new CBA, he can re-sign for up to a 20 percent raise, which is what he will likely do as Marc Berman posted on Twitter.

 

That could be good and bad news for the Knicks though.

It’s good because that’s one depth piece they don’t have to worry about when free agency begins. However it’s bad news if general manager Glen Grunwald dips into his $5 million mid-level exception to sign Smith.

As I’ve documented plenty of times, the Knicks will need that to fill other holes including a veteran point guard and possibly a frontcourt player. Giving a portion of that to Smith means less they have to spend during the offseason. If the Knicks spend more than $3 million of that, they will be hit with a hard cap of around $74 million for the season.

That will make improving the club during the season next to impossible.

However by declining his option, Smith becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. That means any team can sign him and you can bet there will be teams with deeper pockets than the Knicks currently have.

In New York, Smith can fill a role similar to what he did last season, especially with Iman Shumpert on the shelf until possibly January, but at what cost?

The best case scenario is that Smith signs for a 20 percent raise and that’s it.

They don’t want to be dipping into the MLE for him, but that’s what will likely happen at this point if Grunwald plans to keep Smith in a Knicks uniform.

Personally I’m not a fan of bring Smith back and I like using the MLE in a wiser fashion. The Knicks have enough guys on the team that like to hold onto the ball and when Smith and Carmelo Anthony are on the floor together, the ball does not move at all. That’s not to mention Smith’s poor decision making and awful shot selection.

But having said that he brings some good things to the table as well and the Knicks can (and have) do much worse.

The beginning of free agency is less than a week away and it will be interesting to see what the market will be for Smith,

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Tags: 2012 Free Agency Featured J.R. Smith NBA New York Knicks Popular Popularity

  • HR8886

    @smark261 wow, didnt see that. I guess he wants to stay in NY. Clearly enjoys it here

  • smark261

    @HR8886 I love JR but just don’t think he’s what we need in the long term. I hope he proves me wrong though.

  • HR8886

    @smark261 hes good off the bench but lets not forget, Knicks never had their real starting 5 healthy . Lin, Shump, Amare, Melo, and Tyson

  • HR8886

    @smark261 its hard to say what the Knicks needs considering they never had time together. I good back up PG is needed and a Soild PF/C

  • smark261

    @HR8886 True. Smith is firepower off the bench but he may start early on with Shump out. If the Knicks can stay healthy, they’ll do damage

  • HR8886

    @smark261 yup, health is a big part to any team. Without Bosh, Heat dont beat OKC. Amare has alot to make up for his awful year

  • HR8886

    @smark261 hopefully the Knicks get to keep Lin and Novak without a cap hit and get Nash or Odom.

  • smark261

    @HR8886 Word…I feel like he will have a big year as he already started training. With Stat, it depends on health and cohesion wih Melo

  • smark261

    @HR8886 I would like Odom for a minimum deal…and Nash won’t come here as he could get more money elsewhere

  • HR8886

    @smark261 Stat just doesnt know where to go on the floor. He needs to master the outside shot like Bosh and KG. Thats there for him all day

  • smark261

    @HR8886 Yeah…he had a consistent jumper his first season in NY. Didn’t have it this past season though

  • HR8886

    @smark261 yea, Nash likes NY as well but if its about $$, he wont come.

  • smark261

    @HR8886 you think he might go to Miami?

  • HR8886

    @smark261 they can’t offer more than the Knicks. so i would assume, no?

  • smark261

    @HR8886 He’s in the tail end of his career…I feel like he wants a ring before he hangs it up

  • HR8886

    @smark261 yea, hes gonna go to a contender forsure.