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Report: As expected. J.R. Smith will opt out of last year of contract

Jun 4, 2013, 7:59 AM EDT

John Starks, J.R. Smith AP

After a campaign that landed him the Sixth Man of the Year award, J.R. Smith wants to get paid.

As has been expected, the Knicks ‘s swingman is going to opt out of the last year of his deal worth $2.9 million, reports Jared Zwerling at ESPNNewYork.com.

J.R. Smith will not opt in with the New York Knicks, declining his player option of $2.9 million, a league source confirmed with ESPNNewYork.com….

Another league source said it’s “likely” Smith will re-sign with the Knicks come free agency (starting July 1), putting their roster at eight players under contract for next season.

The Knicks have Smith’s Early Bird rights, meaning they can offer him a contract of 175 percent of his last salary or 104.5 percent of the league average salary, whichever is larger. In this case, that would be the league average number, which should be just north of $5 million a year. The contract has to be for at least two years and could be up to four.

It is possible another team with cap space could come in over the top and offer Smith a $6 million a year contract or more, but that is unlikely.

Nobody really expects Smith to leave the Knicks. However, if the Knicks to do this to re-sign Smith and are forced to use their tax-payer’s mid-level exception of just more than $3 million to keep Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland, they would only be able to bring in free agent players for the veteran minimum after that.

  1. saint1997 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    I can see some team like Atlanta trying to lure the likes of D12 and CP3 to overpay in an attempt to prove they have a ‘supporting cast’ ready to ball but in all likelihood he stays a Knickerbocker and they try to add another scorer around Melo and him

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      I hope he stays, the Knicks have cap problems so they can’t sign a
      big time scorer. I think the Heat should trade for Amare and help
      Knickerbockers out.

      • saint1997 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:16 AM

        amar’e is still an offensive beast – just playing in limited minutes. This season he was top 20 in PPG per36

  2. readysethike - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    i could see him goin to dallas

  3. sportsnut101 - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Well Kidd retiring saves them 3 mill this yr n next yr. since he was due that

    Can’t see copeland get more then 3 yr deal

    Jr smith will take highest offer I’m sure.

  4. jzone954 - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Giggle…..

  5. jcshin89 - Jun 4, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    If JR is leaving knicks, they need to try hard to sign andre iguadala. Hes just overall solid player. Yes one time 76ers overpayed him but thats not his fault. Id take extra 10k salary if my boss is offering that. AI can defend, rebound, pass, shoot, and can dunk just as good as JR. But really think AI, CP3, DH should all join mavs if they are serious about winning.

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      They do not have the cap room for the max or near max Iggy will demand.

      • jcshin89 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:07 PM

        He was getting overpayed. Only way to land iggy is by trading pieces around and let jr go

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