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J.R. Smith not eligible to be traded until Jan. 15

Dec 16, 2013, 12:23 PM EDT

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The NBA’s trading season unofficially opened on Sunday, because Dec. 15 marked the first day that the majority of players who signed new contracts over the summer are eligible to be included in trades to other teams.

But a select few players aren’t yet eligible.

The collective bargaining agreement has various restrictions in place for teams over the salary cap, and one of the more likely clubs to want to engage in trade talks can’t yet deal one of its more disappointing players this season.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Under a quirk in the new collective bargaining agreement, J.R. Smith is eligible to be traded Jan. 15 and the way things are going, the Knicks would have to explore it.

Smith is one of seven free agents signed in July who won’t become trade eligible for another month because their teams are over the salary cap and they signed for 120 percent more than their prior season’s salary.

The Knicks have been working on a deal for the raptors’ Kyle Lowry, but Smith wasn’t part of those negotiations. The sticking point there is the inclusion of a young player like Tim Hardaway Jr. or Iman Shumpert, and/or a first round draft pick that New York has been reluctant to give up to this point in the talks.

Smith is underperforming after winning the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award a season ago, averaging eight less points per game and shooting almost nine percentage points worse from the field. He also chose to have offseason surgery only after he secured his three-year, $18 million free agent contract, and followed that up by being suspended five games for violating the league’s drug policy.

Add all that to Smith’s recent reported blowup with head coach Mike Woodson, and you’d understand why the Knicks might consider trading him. But that can’t happen until Jan. 15.

  1. jobotjones - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    This guy is a complete clown.

    Always has been, always will be.

  2. spursareold - Dec 16, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    JR has always leaned on his athleticism instead of expanding his game and knowledge. He’s a 10 year veteran who has a lot of miles. It’s hell for such a player when his springs start to go. It affects both his jumper and his finishing ability.

  3. chiadam - Dec 16, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Smith is actually wasting two spots on the Knicks roster, since his moron brother is occupying space that would otherwise go to an actual NBA player.

  4. azarkhan - Dec 16, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Trade him? Too bad they can’t cut his sorry a$$. Time to get rid of guaranteed contracts.

    • fm31970 - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      No team HAS to sign a player to a contract, so don’t blame the guaranteed contract. At least the Knicks “only” signed him to a three year deal.

      Who would want to trade for Smith and give up anything of real value?

  5. louderthanwords1 - Dec 16, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    So who are the other 6 free agents who signed in July and can’t be traded til Jan 15th?

  6. jolink653 - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    After acting like a five-year-old and boycotting shooting the ball last game, I’d be shocked if Woodson doesn’t sit him or the team doesn’t suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team. They asked JR to take smarter shots and he decides not to shoot at all just to be a smartass. At this point, it’s painfully obvious he kept himself in line last year to parlay that into a secure contract and now he’s back to being a clown. It’s really a shame that, instead of harnessing all the talent he has to become a smarter, better player, he’d rather be an immature moron

  7. peterjohnjoseph - Dec 16, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Remember when J.R. told Paul Pierce he knows nothing about New York? (well, his wording was much different, since you need a friggin urban dictionary to understand this illiterate moron), I guess it turns out he’s the one that knows nothing about New York, or else his own city wouldn’t hate him and want him traded for a bag of sand with mustache painted on.

    • peterjohnjoseph - Dec 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      with *a mustache painted on.

      Sorry, I forgot what correct grammar looked like for a second thinking about all of J.R.’s tweets while writing that.

  8. kanemoney - Dec 16, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Pretty harsh comments. I don’t think he is that bad. I know his shooting percentage is poor this season, but the reality is that the entire Knicks offense is terrible. He has a tendency to shoot in volume, which is a tough combination with a stagnant offense that often results with ball in the hands of Melo or Smith with under 5 seconds left.

    I think the length of his deal is somewhat concerning for potential teams, but 6 mil per year isn’t that hard to swallow. He has the ability. You don’t just accidentally win 6th man awards…

    • zerole00 - Dec 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      It’s not so much that he’s bad, it’s that he’s consistent and takes bad shots. Last year his shots happened to fall (which is why he won the award), but this year the law of averages is taking effect. Ask any coach whether they want a player that gets 5 points one night and 10 another, or one who consistently gets 7. I’d be my next paycheck that go with the latter.

      That’s not the only issue however, his attitude is an unnecessary distraction. Yeah, our views on weed are pretty silly (coming from someone whose never used it), but when your employer sets a rule – you follow it. Mouthing off to the coach doesn’t help ANYONE except your own ego.

      • zerole00 - Dec 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        I’d bet my next paycheck that they go with the latter.*

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