It's been a rough offseason for J.R. Smith, despite signing a three-year, $17.9 million contract (third year is a player option). After re-signing with the New York Knicks, Smith had surgery on his left knee and repaired a tear in his lateral meniscus. The surgery was announced on July 15 and his expected timetable for being out was 12-16 weeks. Being sidelined until October or November means he'll be playing catch up with his training and being ready to contribute to a Knicks team that will need his presence off the bench.
Smith is getting more bad news, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. He's reporting that the NBA is suspending Knicks guard J.R. Smith for violating the league's substance abuse policy, which likely means he'll be out for an additional five games when he is cleared to play.
The NBA is suspending Knicks guard J,R. Smith for violating the league's substance abuse policy, sources tell Yahoo Sports— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) September 6, 2013
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News is reporting that J.R. Smith's suspension will in fact be for five games.
J.R. Smith is expected to be suspended five games for violating the drug policy, the Daily News has learned— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) September 6, 2013
Smith won the Sixth Man of the Year award for the 2012-13 season for his play off the bench for the Knicks. In 80 games, he averaged 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists while shooting 42.2 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from the 3-point line.