J.R. Smith should be ready to cash in this offseason. After making a little more than $5 million over his last two years with the New York Knicks, he has a player option for next season that he will undoubtedly forgo in hopes of signing a more lucrative contract.
But just how lucrative will that contract be? After winning Sixth Man of the Year (even if you think someone else might deserve it), he should have plenty of suitors in need of a scorer lining up to pay him for his services. However, he stated within the past week that he wants to retire as a Knick. This could be a ploy to drive up the negotiating price for Smith, or he could be sincere.
Marc Berman of the New York Post is reporting that this plan is definitely sincere and that it includes Chris Smith, J.R.'s brother, getting an NBA job in the process.
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.''
This would end up being a great contract for the Knicks because they don't really have the luxury of competing with higher bids, and while Smith's shot selection might not be ideal for a lot of offenses and systems, his value should certainly be higher than $5 million per season. He has an incredible ability to score and more than enough talent that coaches can consistently harness out of him.
The idea of packaging with his brother is a smart move by the Knicks if they want to circumvent the process of trying to outbid the rest of the teams that might want to sign Smith. Chris Smith went undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft and was given a roster spot on the Knicks' Summer League team. He averaged 5.2 points in 19.4 minutes during his five games, and shot just 29.0 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from 3-point range.
But that didn't stop him from getting a training camp invite with the Knicks. He hurt his knee during training camp and was waived before the season started.
J.R. Smith averaged a career-high 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 42.2 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from 3-point range. He beat out Jamal Crawford and Jarrett Jack for the 2012-13 Sixth Man of the Year award, the first of his career.