Jul 3, 2013, 8:26 PM EDT
This was ultimately the deal both sides wanted, and now they care close to making it happen.
The Knicks are near a deal to re-sign J.R. Smith to a multi-year contract, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The two sides are finalizing the number of years (likely three, it can’t be more than four under the CBA rules) and the options, Woj reports.
The money here is the easy part. The Knicks have Smith’s Early Bird rights which means they are limited in what they can offer him (175 percent of his old salary or 104 percent of the league average salary). In this case, the league average of about $5.4 million will be the higher offer.
As for years, the max is four but the Knicks likely want to go shorter than that, and Smith will have some options in there.
Smith, 27, was the Sixth Man of the Year last season and was the second leading scorer on the Knicks. He averaged 18.2 points a game and shot 42.2 percent overall 35.6 percent from three. While statistics say there is no such thing as the hot hand shooter, Smith feels like the exception to the rule. He is the king of taking and making bad, contested jump shots, and on the nights they fall there is not much you can do. On the nights they aren’t falling, he is still shooting.
The Knicks needed Smith back because they had no way to really replace his scoring or energy off the bench. The money is fair a bit of a bargain for what he brings to the table.