Around 2 AM this morning, JR Smith re-signed with the New York Knicks. He agreed to a two-year deal that pays him $2.8 million in the first-year and a player option in the second year. CAA, Smith’s representation, released this statement:
“I just felt that, despite my other options, New York is the best situation for me. Coach Woodson showed a lot of faith and trust in me last season, as did Mr. Dolan and the organization. My teammates are great to play with and the New York fans are the best!”
JR Smith tweeted that he’d like to wear #23 this year, but quickly remembered that #23 is Marcus Camby’s number. He might wear #2, #3 or #4.
In this maneuver, should JR Smith turn down his player option – like he did this year – the Knicks would hold his early bird-rights and they would be eligible to go over the salary cap to re-sign him. This is big, since the Knicks will have limited resources to improve the roster in the future.
While JR Smith can be erratic at times, he is a steal for $2.8 million. This off-season, we’ve already witness teams dish out $20 million for Landry Fields and $35 million for Jeff Green. JR Smith is very talented, just some times out of control. Also, the added veteran leadership of Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby should help control JR.
Right now, JR Smith is the only shooting guard on the roster, and if the season was to start today, he’d likely be our starting shooting guard. I expect the Knicks to still search for another two-guard, but at least we have one locked up in JR Smith.
Welcome back, JR!