Posted June 04, 2013

J.R. Smith to opt out of final year of contract

NBA
J.R. Smith will opt out of the final year of his contract with the Knicks. (Ron Hoskins/Getty Images)

J.R. Smith will opt out of the final year of his contract with the Knicks. (Ron Hoskins/Getty Images)

New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, Jared Zweling of ESPNNewYork.com reported on Tuesday afternoon. The 2012-13 Sixth Man of the Year will announce before June 30 that he will opt out of his $2.9 million player option for next year.

Smith, who qualifies for the Early Bird exception because he played with the same team for the past two years, was on the books for $2.8 million this past season and can re-sign with the Knicks for $4.9 million in 2013-14. According to the terms of the Early Bird rights, a team can re-sign a player that enters free agency for 175 percent of his annual salary the previous season or for the average NBA salary, whichever is greater.

This past regular season was Smith’s best; the 27-year-old averaged 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, both career highs. But despite his initial contributions, Smith’s performances declined dramatically in the playoffs. After shooting 42 percent from the field this year, Smith struggled throughout the postseason, shooting 33 percent over 11 games, including three sub-30 percent outings during the Knicks’ second round loss to the Indiana Pacers.

As Zwerling reported, Smith’s close relationship with Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony will certainly play a role in New York’s decision of whether to retain Smith for $4.9 million next season. But Anthony has also been expressing his desire in recent weeks for another scorer on the team, and Smith’s inconsistency might compel the organization to let him walk in favor of a more reliable second-option.


20 comments
James The Great
James The Great

He is worth the risk, there is still some upward growth. Unless you know anything better,resign

mike8
mike8

Unless he wants big money the Knicks should keep him. He is a good sixth man and when dialed in he is a threat on both ends. With Kidd leaving, maybe they can get some more young talent. 

CPUtalking2U
CPUtalking2U

Maybe he can take his talents to South Beach

Skins'Fan
Skins'Fan

Kinicks MUST re-sign him since their capped out and can't easily replace him... 42% is horrid though

Ant
Ant

Letting Smith go isn't the best move here, I don't think.  I think adding another dependable scorer, particularly in the frontcourt would diminish JR's role which is a good thing.  Clearing Kidd, Thomas, Wallace, and possibly Prigioni gives NYK a little wiggle room to upgrade the roster......hopefully.  It'll be a long summer.

MattFancyPantsCrawford
MattFancyPantsCrawford

Was never a big fan. Every shot seems like a miracle that it goes in, not great off the dribble.....but.....he did put up a nice year.  Melo needs more help....let him walk. 

bondra76
bondra76

Wasn't this the dude that said he wanted to retire a Knick just a few weeks ago?

KenKing
KenKing

@Ant Not really. The Knicks have their version of the 'Big Three' having given Chandler, Stoudemire and Anthony Max contracts. The problem is that those 3 are not LBJ/Wade/Bosh nor even Duncan/Parker/Ginobili. The team has zero room under the cap until Stoudemire is gone.

Ant
Ant

@MattFancyPantsCrawford  On the contrary, JR is incredible off the dribble.  He's 30 point streak was largely because he was attacking the basket and relying less on his jumpshot.  I think injuries killed the Knicks more than JR did.  Gotta get younger........and Melo some help, as you said.

Ant
Ant

@bondra76 He still does, just wants more money while he's at it.

CleatusTank
CleatusTank

@KenKing @Ant @newshamg @MattFancyPantsCrawford 

Furthermore your NBA conspiracy theory falls apart when Chuck Daily himself said that Jordan was far and away better than anyone on the dream team.  When every player in the NBA during that era said on countless times that Jordan was unstoppable.   When players before his time said they have never seen a player like him.  Players had similarities to him yes.  Julius could dunk and was a scorer but do you ever hear of his defense being mentioned?  NO.  For this conspiracy to work every player, coach, media person, official, in the league would have to be in on it.  

CleatusTank
CleatusTank

@KenKing @Ant @newshamg @MattFancyPantsCrawford

 You must be high on some really good stuff. You speak of MJ being fictional then you have the b@lls to say that Earl Manigault was the GOAT? Earl Manigault was as fictional as they come. His street ball accolades were high yes and his performance on a non-professional level was very good also however he never made it to play against a league full of the best players on earth. The worst NBA player in the league was at some point someones BEST player on their team. Your statement is more absurd than the political and biblical rants I read on cnn everyday. Get the hell out of here with this BS. Bill Russell was incredible for his era, an era in which there were VERY few players that could match his size or speed. If he played in todays Era he would be considered a PF and Lebron James, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnet, Roy Hibbert would all be on equal footing as him. MJ TORCHED BIRD, and MAGIC. Those two even said he was by far the best player on the dream team. Oscar Robertson is the only player you mentioned that could stand to your point. Go away.  

KenKing
KenKing

@Ant @newshamg @MattFancyPantsCrawford Just for the record, MJ is nowhere near the best basketball player ever. He is a fictional athlete, conceived by David Stern, who belongs in the realm of Hulk Hogan, Sid Finch and Rocky Balboa. Read a book sometime. Learn about Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and Julius Erving.  Then add George Gervin, Lew Alcindor and Wilt Chamberlin.  That would still be ignoring Bird, Magic and Jerry West. If you really want to know about the guy who could play basketball better than anyone ever, search for the incredibly sad story of Earl Manigault. The Goat was MJ before MJ was a gleam in his Daddy's eye.

Michael Jordan was a good player - possibly a great player. We will never know how great Jordan could have been, because David Stern corrupted the process by contriving a superstar to replace Magic and Bird.

Ant
Ant

@newshamg @Ant @MattFancyPantsCrawford MJ is probably the greatest player ever.  Of course he was incredible off the dribble.  There really wasn't anything MJ wasn't incredible at. The difference between JR and MJ?  MJ finished at the rim and didn't choke during the playoffs.  But as I stated before, JR can penetrate with ease because of his quickness and ball handling, and he displayed that the entire 2nd half of the season.  So, yes, incredible off the dribble but horrible(at times) finishing.  Especially in games that matter.

newshamg
newshamg

@Ant @newshamg @MattFancyPantsCrawford So a 30 point stretch makes a guy incredible off the dribble as a matter of course?

Michael Jordan was incredible off the dribble - J R Smith is not.

And please learn what putting words in someones mouth actually means !!!!!! If you look at what I said I did no such thing.



Ant
Ant

@newshamg @Ant @MattFancyPantsCrawford You have yet to provide anything to back up your claim that he isn't incredible off the dribble.  Don't attempt to put words in my mouth to further your purpose.  To say someone is incredible off the dribble is NOT the same as saying someone is a great player.  JR is far from great.  But he excels off the dribble as evidenced by his 30 point stretch in which he abandoned his jumpshot and attacked the basket (OFF THE DRIBBLE) thereby breaking a NYK record for consecutive 30 point games for a reserve.  Now please, provide a valid counter argument and try to leave the hate at home.

newshamg
newshamg

@Ant @newshamg @MattFancyPantsCrawford You used the word incredible. If you think J R Smith is incredible off the dribble then, as I said before, you use the word incredible in a watered down sense of the word the way the rest of us use it; or a dictionary defines it.

Next you'll be using that other word people throw out to often - you'll be saying J R Smith is a great player. Is great another word you use some personal definition for that the rest of us would have a hard time identifying with?

Ant
Ant

@newshamg @Ant @MattFancyPantsCrawford Facts to back that up or is your interpretation gospel?  Stats speak for themselves.  I've watched EVERY Knicks game this season.  He gets to the basket relatively easy because of his quickness and ball control ability.  He broke some Knick records this year.  It takes more than "above average" to do that.  He went John Starks on us in the playoffs tho.