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Report: J.R. Smith won’t pick up player option to return to Knicks, but team wants him back

Jun 25, 2013, 2:10 PM EDT

John Starks, J.R. Smith AP

As expected, J.R. Smith will not be picking up his player option for next season, which will make him an unrestricted free agent.

That doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be back with the Knicks; it just won’t be for only one year at $2.9 million.

From Al Innazzone of Newsday:

J.R. Smith will not pick up his $2.9-million option for the 2013-14 season, a person close to the valuable reserve said.

The deadline for Smith to inform the Knicks whether he will opt in is Tuesday. The Knicks weren’t expecting Smith to opt in after putting up career highs of 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds and winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award this past season. Smith struggled in the playoffs, but the Knicks’ plan is to try to keep him.

If Smith wants to stay in New York, he’ll likely have to take less money than he could command on the open market to do so.

The Knicks can only offer Smith around $5 million per year for at least two seasons, and teams could offer him a bigger role in the offense along with a longer-term deal to try to get him to jump.

But Smith has a strong relationship with Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, and enjoys playing in New York City — perhaps even a bit too much.

We’ve seen Smith be devastating offensively plenty over the course of his career, but last season (despite his playoff slump) was by far his most consistent. Teams will pay for that, and just how much will certainly be a factor in Smith’s free agent decision.

  1. ivanoiurares40 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Reblogged this on TheSlashDash.

  2. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    I hate to judge a book by its cover, but JR just SEEMS like the type thats after the money vs loyalty…

    However, I could be wrong…

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      yeah, maybe JR doesn’t have the money you have so he will
      have to be smart and get his.
      best of luck JR, I hope you come back but you gotta do you!

    • paleihe - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Loyalty? This is professional sports, there is no loyalty.

      He played for the team one year. The Knicks want him to be loyal cause it’s a paltry (relatively) sum for a really good offensive weapon.

      In sports, you only have the ability to make great income for a few years. Get as much as you can as fast as you can.

      I don’t blame him for not wanting to be paid less than he’s worth.

    • jacksonkane - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      He turned down more money last off-season to play for the Knicks. So B-S.

      And it’s not just about annual salary, it’s about years. No player want to play through a contract year with no guaranteed salary waiting for them after. Who knows – he could blow a knee out and leave 10mil on the table.

  3. pmx8411 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    He’s clearly after the dough….can you blame him

  4. 13arod - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    he doesn’t have alot of money he wants more money he wants to start and he wants to win a chamipinship maybe he will go to miami

  5. readysethike - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    he’s definately after the dough, and he deserves it…he had an awesome regular season

  6. cantonbound13 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    You can’t blame any player for taking more money. This is their profession, they have families to take care of. They can’t do this into their 40’s.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      and if he is doing RiRi he will need some bred.
      that’s a bad, bad gurl!

  7. majorhavoc83 - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Hmmm…this story sounds so familiar…where have I heard it before? Hmmm…a Knicks player wants to stay with the team, and the Knicks say they want him to stay. Then the player gets an offer and then the Knicks decide not to match the offer. Oh yeah! I remember! It was only last year when Jeremy Lin said he wanted to stay and the Knicks said that they’d match any offer out there…except they didn’t.

    Sadly, I guess we’ll see JR on another team next season! …and yet another good Knick leaves the team. I guess we’ll just bring on another aging player instead. I wonder if Bill Russell is available?! 😛

  8. jacksonkane - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    He deserves 5-7mil a year over a 3 or 4 year deal.

  9. canehouse - Jun 25, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Some desperately dumb team will proably pony up and pay him.

  10. barkley4life - Jun 25, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Terrible player if he wasn’t in NY he would’ve been an afterthought. No basketball IQ shot 42% from and was a bust in the post season. He will not get big money anywhere. He’s only valuable to NY as a vital piece and that’s because they are a mess financially and on the court.

  11. savvybynature - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    I honestly wouldn’t give this guy the veteran minimum. Inefficient volume shooter that only got attention because he plays in New York, and seems to crave that attention. Don’t see him going anywhere.

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