The New York Knicks’ biggest question mark of the offseason has been answered.
The 2013 Sixth Man of the Year, J.R. Smith, has reportedly signed a four-year deal worth $24 million to stay in the city that never sleeps.
The contract is the maximum amount the Knicks can give Smith via the early Bird rights and it reportedly contains a player option in the fourth and final year.
The Knicks now have a shooting guard position that has depth and is pretty athletic.
Iman Shumpert will most likely be the starter with Smith coming off Mike Woodson’s bench once again. The signing is big for 24th overall pick Tim Hardaway Jr. since now he isn’t thrown into the fire right away and can ease his way into the rotation and the NBA lifestyle.
Carmelo Anthony doesn’t lose a shooter around him now and has another scoring option. When Smith and Andrea Bargnani are on the court at the same time, the defense will have to respect their shooting ability, forcing the court to be more spread out.
Smith loved New York. He fed off the crowd, loved the lifestyle, and fit right in under Woodson’s system. Knicks fans hope he can mature and put his club and partying life in the rear mirror since they know the championship window is open now. Smith is now a veteran on this team and will be looked at as a leader.
It’s time for Smith to prove that he is worth this investment and work off of last year’s success to take the Knicks deeper in the playoffs.