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J.R. Smith: “New York Knicks it is”

Feb 17, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

Nuggets guard Smith celebrates a three-point shot in their NBA basketball game against the Timberwolves in Denver

It’s not a surprise — we told you yesterday it was coming — but now it is official.

Well, it is if you can believe J.R. Smith himself. We tend to. Smith tweeted this Friday morning:

 New York Knicks it is

Smith will join the Jeremy Lin show, along with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. Which is kind of the order it feels like in New York now. Smith is expected to be at the Garden when the Knicks take on the Hornets tonight, but he will not suit up.

Smith had interest from a number of teams — Orlando, Minnesota, Los Angeles Lakers — but had narrowed the choices down to the Clippers and Knicks. Both are good teams (the Clippers likely better) and both could offer a lot of minutes. But the Knicks could offer more money — the $2.5 million mini mid-level exception — and for a guy who went all the way to China for a paycheck during the lockout you had to figure money mattered a lot.

The Knicks have won seven in a row during the Linsanity run and Smith gives then another real scoring threat. Don’t be surprised if Mike D’Antoni uses him as a sixth man, providing a real scoring boost to the second unit. The Knicks have surprisingly been winning during this streak in part due to having the sixth-ranked defense in the league, something Smith can help with as well.

To make room on the roster, the Knicks cut Renaldo Balkman.

  1. bklynfatpants - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    As long as he comes off the bench for instant O, and he and Melo don’t mess up the chemistry it’ll be alright.

  2. leearmon - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Should have cut Bibby, Balkman’s contract expires next season, so it could have been useful as a trade chip, but Grunwald has done a pretty good job thus far, so I will not question his decision making. How funny is it, that prior to the season, “experts” thought the Knicks lack of depth would be an issue, now it seems that finding minutes for everyone will be one of the major concerns moving forward. I guess its a nice problem to have.

    • zeedoubleyou - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM

      Agreed. I think the only potential obstacle in the way of the Knicks becoming serious contenders in the East is how Lin, Anthony, and Smith share one basketball in crunch time.

    • borderline1988 - Feb 18, 2012 at 11:54 PM

      It’s not the minutes per se that will be an issue. I would still argue that depth is a serious issue with Knicks, especially looking at their 3, 4 and 5 spots.

      It’s the shots and chemistry of the offense. Mark my words…Carmelo will destroy any of the good that had happened in the last few weeks. Amare is probably a little pissed on the inside, but he’s enough of a professional to sacrifice shots for the team.

      Carmelo has very little to offer on the basketball floor without the ball in his hands. That’s a serious problem and it’s not going away anytime soon.

  3. brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    The collective cheer you just heard was the Denver fans going thank god thats over with and that smell you smell is the small amount of fecal matter that just soiled Jeremy’s jock. This is going to be a train wreck. Ask George Karl and Chauncey what its like to coach and play with this idiot. Did The knicks brass not see what 2/5’s of this line-up did in Denver? Same as it ever is Knicks fan.

  4. chiadam - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Wow. Six good games and the Knicks are suddenly contenders? Why? Because of JR Smith and Jeremy Lin?

  5. raven410 - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    chiadam – Feb 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM
    Wow. Six good games and the Knicks are suddenly contenders? Why? Because of JR Smith and Jeremy Lin?

    No..Because of Jeremy Lin, JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler.

  6. KIR - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    I hope he leaves his sister in China

  7. rob0527 - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Should have cut Tony Douglas. How many basketballs r they going to play with. Can u fit all those egos on court? Bad move Knicks just starting to gel. Whose minutes will he take?

  8. bklynfatpants - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    It would be better if JR’s sister sits next to Dolan.

  9. drobstad - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Clippers are better than the Knicks? sooo CP3, Blake, DeAndre Jordan (i guess he counts) > Melo, Amare, Lin, Chandler, JR Smith, Shumpert, Fields? What is he basing the Clippers being better than the Knicks on? I am confused

    • louwill23 - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      Relax Dan Robstad, The Knicks are a .500 team and the third best team in their division after facing a bunch of mopes.

      • drobstad - May 7, 2012 at 10:41 AM

        We can’t all face the Bulls without their two best players cummings haha.. You get to watch the Super Bowl this year?

  10. rob0527 - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Should have cut Toney Douglas. Why make this move? The team was just starting to gel.

  11. rob0527 - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Should have gone to clippers. Knicks don’t need him.

  12. jkaflagg - Feb 17, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Never a doubt he’d go where the $$$ was…..

  13. dirtybird2020 - Feb 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Drostab dont forget butler and lebrons old pg, pauls the best player, blake has more upside than amare, and might be better now but could go either way, chandler better than jordan but if used right they both defend the rim, my guess with melo and smith hogging shots lin not taking as much, chandler wont be used correct, pick and roll and alleyopps, his d will always be there, clippers know who they are and thats the best team in la, knicks know nothing about how their gonna pan put, injurys become a big deal when it happens to a good player, just hope its jr or melo when it does happen otherwise goodbye to your winning ways still at .500

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