After the season he had, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but New York Knicks’ swingman J.R. Smith will likely opt out of his current contract following the postseason.
The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year will exercise his option to opt out of his current contract for next season with the Knicks, and once he does, he’ll be looking for a long-term deal, writes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
Smith has made his intentions clear that he would like to finish the rest of his career with the Knicks, but it may not be possible.
New York can’t do any better than a four-year deal worth about $25 million, since they only have his Early Bird rights.
Smith will be able to command a hefty raise on his $2.8 million salary this season.
After putting together the best season of his career, averaging 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, while capturing the Sixth Man of the Year award, Smith will likely command a salary that comes close to $10 million per season. There will be teams with enough cap space that will certainly throw big money his way in the offseason. Once that happens, we will see how much of a commitment he has to the Knicks.
Smith has emerged as the Knicks legitimate second scoring option and has formed a bond with head coach Mike Woodson, but it would hard to fault him for trying to cash in after this season.
It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out and I guess we will find out soon enough whether the Knicks’ best offer will be enough.
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