After sitting out the last few practices with a “sore knee,” it was announced that Chris Smith, the younger brother of JR Smith, would undergo a surgery to repair a left patella tendon in his knee. After the surgery, Smith will be out for three-six months. Though Smith never really had a chance at making the team, his injury raises some questions, most notably, “Can they bring in another to training camp?”
The answer is yes. The Knicks are currently carrying 20 guys on their training camp roster, which is the maximum. For opening day, that number will have to be cut down to 15. They have 13 guys signed to guaranteed deals, so they have two spots for the remaining 7 guys. Some of the players fighting for that spot are: Rasheed Wallace, Henry Sims, Chris Copeland, Mychel Thompson, Jon Shurna, all of whom have played well thus far, well, with the exception of Sheed, who’s not yet in shape to participate in the action.
By cutting Chris Smith, the Knicks would open up an additional training camp roster spot, which they could use on a veteran or another young gun, but being so late in camp, I question if it’s worth doing so? Personally, I don’t think so. I could see the Knicks’ executives taking Smith’s time in training camp and just giving it to the younger guys. I speculated this morning that the Knicks might give Mychel Thompson the starting job on opening day, just as an extended audition for a long-term roster spot, but losing Chris Smith will have a similar effect: More minutes to go to the other guys, while Coach Woodson and other executives are watching.
It’s always sad to hear about an injury, but in this case, it could be a blessing in disguise for the fellow young guys attempting to make the opening day roster.