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Report: Bucks, Suns, Pistons may try to poach J.R. Smith from Knicks

Jul 1, 2013, 1:27 PM EDT

John Starks, J.R. Smith AP

The Knicks remain the odds-on favorite to retain their second scoring option and Sixth Man of the Year, J.R. Smith.

But there is a limit to how much they can offer him. The Knicks have Smith’s Early Bird rights (and are over the tax line), so they can only offer a deal for 175 percent of what he made last year (which would be $4.9 million) or they can offer just over the league average salary, which would be $5.4 million. The Knicks are expected to make a multi-year $5.4 million offer soon.

But another team with cap space could come in with a better offer and Smith would be forced to choose. A few teams are considering it, reports the New York Post.

The Knicks believe odds are they will retain J.R. Smith, but it hardly is a guarantee considering the bevy of under-the-cap clubs and a weak free-agent class. The Bucks, Pistons and Suns are contemplating throwing money Smith’s way.

Would Smith take a $6 million to move? How much higher does it have to be for him to walk from the Knicks?

Any offer for Smith likely comes a little ways into free agency, once those teams see how their first options work out.

There was some buzz that the Knicks were considering Monta Ellis, possibly as a replacement if they lose Smith. But the Knicks could only offer him $3.2 million a year as a free agent, which would be great value if they could get him but the more likely outcome is Ellis takes the larger paycheck somewhere else.

  1. dgbk - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    all three of those teams should save their money…. while smith will be an upgrade to what they have they don’t become contenders or even a playoff team woth home.. the suns, bucks and pistons are better off being bad for another yr.

    • eboneseagles - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      If pistons get JR and Josh Smith they could probably get the 8th seed if not better in the weak EC.

      • jaerba - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        Which would be terrible. Getting swept in the first round is the worst place to be, especially with next year’s draft class.

        God I hope the Pistons don’t get Smith.

      • jaerba - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        Either Smith.

    • hodaghunter - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      The Bucks were an 8 seed last year. So far right now the front court is looking pretty solid it all depends what happens with the guards in free agency but the Bucks could go from a 8 seed to a 6 seed if they re-signed Jennings and brought in JR Smith.
      That’s not contending for a championship but it gets the owner more money with the playoff appearance cash which is all every owner wants.

  2. bparmalee - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    All I want in life is to have Carmelo, Marcus Thornton, J.R. Smith and Monta Ellis on the same team. How can we make this happen? Kickstarter??

    • dezglobal - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      You need some bigger ambitions for your life

    • tcclark - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:35 PM

      While your at it you should get the league to play all knicks games with two balls because that’s the only way those four players would be able to play together. That’s about 100 shots per game combined between 4 guys.

  3. censormynameandmycomments - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    The Suns will have 15 players on the roster if they sign all 3 of their draft picks. Even if they cut someone to make room, why would they? So they can win 30 games instead of 25? So they can spend enough money this year to prevent them from having enough money for a max deal next year? No thanks.

    • dopekidz83 - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      I don’t see them making space on the roster either. It seems like the smart thing to do is to keep the current roster intact to increase their chances of getting a top pick in the loaded ’14 draft.

  4. emosnar - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Yeah cause the Suns are going to kill with Alex what’s its face. I live and PX and watched JR hit the last second shot on you guys in PX with Melo out. He dominated the whole game. Name me a player you currently have om your roster that can’t be stopped? Or name me a player you pan on getting to go with Alex whats its face.

    • censormynameandmycomments - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      I’ve lived in PHX for 30 years and I’ve never seen anyone use PX as an abbreviation. You either just moved here recently (probably from the east coast or Chicago) or you’re lying. Either way, shut up. You claim to not even know the name of their draft pick, I don’t think your basketball opinion has any value at all.

      • emosnar - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        You are right I come from a legendary state and city know for basketball (Indiana). Moved out here a couple years ago fro the nice weather and great job. However the sports talk, fans, and expertise sucks watercrest ass.

        Now I live in PX. You don’t deserve the H. What a horrible draft pick and a even horrible selection of coach. I know a lot about basketball seeing as I run and operate a basketball club with 5 top ten nationally ranked AAu teams and contributed to sending players to the league. I know you want my credentials and want to verify but know this. the phoenix suns have now leadership to get them where they dream of going.

        A center that’s already gimpy. your sports commentators are okay with it because well PX has a great training staff, wtf…

        Yes Alex what the F97k is face son!

    • savvybynature - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      Did you just imply that JR Smith is unstoppable?!!?

    • tcclark - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:38 PM

      isn’t “Len” way easier to write than “whats its face?” How did you forget three letters?

  5. fm31970 - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Please John Hammond, do NOT sign this guy. We already had a chucker in Ellis (Monta, not Dale) and finally got rid of him, so don’t bring in another inefficient scorer and non-team player.

  6. dezglobal - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    He’ll stay in the apple

  7. 00maltliquor - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Looks like the Pistons are just trying to add any talent this free agency, regardless of fit. Could make for a sloppy roster

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