New York Knicks v Phoenix Suns

J.R. Smith and the Headache of Trading the Knicks’ Second Best Player

The Supermarket Sweep on Knicks guards has begun and according to a source that spoke with ESPN, it appears like J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert are the two players  the Knicks are fine with letting go. No deal has been reported, but it looks like the Knicks front office is throwing feelers out there to see what they can get in return.

Last week, The Knicks Wall gave you a guide on what the guard situation looks like as of right now and what their future should look like heading into the season.

We’ve heard for months what the market for Iman looks like — OKC has shown a lot of interest, even as far as a trade being agreed upon before it fell apart last minute – but for an inconsistent 6th man with as much talent as he does, and with a growing list of fines and suspensions, the market for Earl Smith could be less flattering even though he would be a nice addition that could put a team over the edge.

J.R. makes $5.9m and $6.3m for the next two seasons, that’s not much when looking for similar contracts to match, but trading him this late in the off-season after most teams have retooled in free agency and the draft, the challenge would be to find expiring contracts and/or cheap deals that can help now while giving the Knicks the flexibility in 2015.

[Pans over to the trade machine]

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- Portland was the biggest surprise last season, with many expecting them to tank; they actually managed a 5th seed out of a bare roster and took out a loaded Houston team before falling to eventual champions Spurs. With this proposed trade, the Knicks get back expiring contracts and better position in 2015, while Portland gets a proven scorer and immediate bench help.

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- Many aren’t sure what exactly Michael Jordan is building in Charlotte but it seems like it’s starting to make sense. With money commited to Al Jefferson, in his prime, and Kemba Walker, in his last year of his rookie deal and expecting a big extenson, the Hornets need to win now. J.R. can help with that by spelling Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for more offense. The Knicks get back Gary Neal, on the last year of his contract, who can shoot lights out.

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- The Mavericks offseason: Traded Jose Calderon, lost Vince Carter, getting nowhere with Shawn Marion, re-signed Dirk to $25m over 3 years with the expectation to win now, and took in Raymond Felton; they need all the help they can get.

Honestly, there isn’t much you can do with J.R. Smith around the league, most contending teams have reasonable options off the bench and others don’t want the headache that he will most likely bring — the Knicks are going to have to be creative if they really want to get rid of the only proven help Carmelo has had on the offensive end.  But you have to wonder, why would any team gamble on a player who could derail your road to the finals?


Tell me what you think on twitter @Arrgenys


    Develop Hardaway Jr. and let JR come off the bench…the needs of teams around the league will change by the trade deadline.

    • Al

      That’s better than trading him for pennies on the dollar.

  • Al

    So Phil had Rodman, Workd Peace and Bynum but JR is too much to handle??? Nonsense. If he were on another team we’d beg to get him on the Knicks. Last year he was recovering from knee surgery and eventually returned to form. NY media undervalues players that end up being useful cogs on other teams. Randolph (and his posse), Crawford (no D/erratic), Lee (no good), Nate (immature)…the list is endless. This guy JR is a Baller and if Phil trades him versus reigning him in I will lose a lot of respect for him. Nights Melo was off he was our only option. Don’t be short sighted. He’s a bargain at what he’s signed for. No way you trade your second best off threat. I love Shump but he needs to go before JR. Numbers don’t lie.

  • Rashidi

    Blazers aren’t interested in poor character, of which JR certainly qualifies.
    Developing Barton who is significantly cheaper/younger is of greater benefit, not to mention Freeland was part of the front-court rotation last season.

    The Hornets would much rather have Gary Neal at half the price and half the years. Bench gunners are not exactly in high demand. They already have Gerald Henderson coming off the bench now, and pairing JR with Lance Stephenson would be disastrous (now if you want to take back Henderson, I’m sure the Hornets would be willing to do that)..

    Dallas is not trading their 22 PER backup center for a chucker to play next to Monta Ellis.

    All these deals are extremely one-sided for the Knicks simply because JR has another year after this one. They’ll have far more success moving Shumpert’s expiring deal (or even Ellington’s).