Jul 3, 2013, 9:31 AM EDT
There have been a few teams reportedly interested in pursuing the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in J.R. Smith, but any offer to pry him away from the Knicks would have to come at a fairly high price.
New York can only offer Smith a four-year deal in the neighborhood of $25 million under their current cap situation, and with players like J.J. Redick and Kevin Martin already receiving more than that with their new teams, Smith figures to be in line for a bigger payday if he chooses to go out and get it.
The team that may step up first to offer that is the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks, who have gutted their team and have plenty of cap space, are shaping up as the leading suitor for J.R. Smith.
But if Smith leaves the Knicks to get more bucks in Milwaukee, he will find himself in a rebuilding program. That’s the decision the Freehold, N.J., native, has to make.
Take less to stay with the hometown Knicks, who can offer a four-year, roughly $25 million contract — which comes to $6.25 million a season after yearly raises — or follow the “green’’ jerseys of Milwaukee or another under-the-cap club willing to make a four-year commitment. The market value is being set for him to get an offer of at least $7 million per year.
Smith has enjoyed playing in New York, perhaps even a bit too much at times. Milwaukee isn’t close in terms of the activities it can provide outside of basketball, so it’s likely that the Bucks would have to overpay significantly to get Smith to consider leaving a good team in a great city for whatever Milwaukee’s franchise has to offer.
- LeBron makes emotional return to Cleveland tonight, new Nike ad shows city standing together (VIDEO) 2
- Dominant Pau Gasol shows he may be a perfect fit for Bulls 9
- Old tweets: Kevin Durant uses gay slurs (including at Russell Westbrook), Damian Lillard rips LeBron James 21
- Wednesday night’s NBA winners, losers: Chris Bosh wants you to know he is a No. 1 option 22
- Rajon Rondo leads Celtics to rout of Nets. How much does it mean? 8
- Bulls cruise to 24-point opening night win over Knicks 17
- Lakers’ rookie Julius Randle has surgery to repair fractured tibia, out for season 16
- Anthony Davis has zero chance of winning MVP this season 38