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J.R. Smith said he wouldn’t have blamed Knicks if they traded him last season

Jul 17, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT

Charlotte Bobcats v New York Knicks Getty Images

J.R. Smith is about the least triangle offense player in the league.

The Knicks are building their offense to run the triangle (or at least a modified version of it) and Smith isn’t really about keeping the ball moving — he’s an unrepentant gunner. A volume shooter. A good one, a guy that takes bad shots and makes a lot of them (sometimes), but he’s not exactly a triangle guy.

Add to the fact the Knicks are loaded at the two guard (Smith, Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr., Wayne Ellington, and you can play Shane Larkin there if you want) and the buzz is the Knicks will move one of those guys before the start of next season.

Smith said on ESPN2’s First Take he wouldn’t have been shocked if the Knicks traded him the way he played last season, and he knows some moves are still coming in New York (as transcribed by

…he “wouldn’t blame” team president Phil Jackson and the Knicks if the team had decided to trade him last season.

“No. Absolutely not. The way I was playing, I was playing like a person who didn’t want to be there,” Smith said. “Not looking as focused as a person should be in that situation that we were, in the trenches. I wouldn’t blame them at all…..”

Smith said on Wednesday that he’s “cognizant” one of the shooting guards on the roster could be traded before the start of the season.

“Yeah, because that’s just the way the numbers work, honestly,” he said. “When you have so many people at that same position and you’re trying to juggle between ‘Well, he’s got to play 20 minutes, he’s got to play 30 minutes, he’s got to play 25 minutes,’ it’s tough to do.”

Smith is owed just under $6 million this season and has a player option for $6.4 million next season.

Shumpert and Hardaway — younger players with more palatable contracts — have had their names come up in recent trade rumors. But expect the Knicks to check again and see what the market for Smith might be. He may not really fit with the future direction of the team.

  1. henryd3rd - Jul 17, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    Knicks management knew full well what type of player JR was before they got him and it made no sense to resign him or his brother.

  2. chicagosports2014 - Jul 17, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    Jr Cancer to the locker room n coach.

    • kinggw - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      Funny, he wasn’t a cancer the year before with the same coach and same team and they had 54 wins.

      The Knicks had injuries early on, got off to a horrible start and they never recovered. Smith didn’t make Felton regress into the league’s worst starting pg. He didn’t injure Chandler and he didn’t get rid of all of the veterans that helped the team’s resolve in 13′.

      • chicagosports2014 - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:29 PM

        He isn’t a team player, he will never be part of a championship team. Don’t care if team is winning, he want shots and playing time.


      • kinggw - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        In other words you don’t have any tangible evidence to support your claims. Besides the untying of the shoes incident, which was blown way out of proportion, what has he done that is so egregious?

      • chicagosports2014 - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:57 PM

        Your a knicks fan, not jr smith fan obviously. Jr was a Bull for a few days just because the trade. We dumped him to Denver, and they dumped him to you know who. Smh! Came out of high school always had character issues, check his resume.


      • kinggw - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:01 PM

        I’m not a Knicks fan. I can’t stand them, cruzan and/or Mr.Wright might testify to that. I am a Heat fan, but i’m also objective. I don’t arbitrarily hate guys because they play for other teams as you seem to.

        I do like Smith. I don’t know if I’d go as far to say I’m a fan of his but I like his streaky game. More than anything I hate when people drag a man’s name in the dirt and can’t provide a concrete reason as to why.

        Smith isn’t a big troublemaker. He got into a car accident that took the life of his best friend. Other than that, his biggest offense was getting arrested for operating a scooter without a license. I don’t understand your beef with him.

    • cruzan80 - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:02 PM


      ” Jr was a Bull for a few days just because the trade. We dumped him to Denver, and they dumped him to you know who.”

      Ummm…after his last season in Denver the NBA had a lockout & he went to China. He didn’t even come back to the states (along with Kenyon Martin) until March the following year.

      Kinggw is right. You don’t have any tangible evidence to support your claims. Just your typical Chicago fan who hates the Knicks & probably everything from NY.

      No logic or facts required for your comments. Just crap like “He sucks!!!” Its your OPINION & your entitled. I hope for your sake that your wrong about history not lying because we haven’t seen Rose in over a year & a half. As a BASKETBALL FAN I’ll like to see that change.

      • chicagosports2014 - Jul 18, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        Jr never been on Bulls? I’m done, your not speaking facts!

        New Orleans, Bulls, Denve r Knicks.

    • muhangis - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      I don’t know, his teammates actually seem to like him. Also a really intelligent and reasonable guy when you hear him speak. I’ve learned that just because a guy has a bad media reputation doesn’t mean that he’s simply a bad guy period. Short-sighted thinking in a way..

  3. sellahh - Jul 17, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    Off topic, but it’s gotten to the point where any time a player is linked with the Knicks you hear their fans saying:
    Oh wow Jose Calderon he can shoot, perfect triangle PG!!!
    OMG Dalembourgh (original spelling) sucks, he can’t shoot, he doesnt fit the triangle!!!
    Hurts my brain.

    • spursareold - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      They’re just triangulating.

    • loubearkane - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      I like Dalembert and Calderon , not a Knicks fan but thought they did a good job.
      Releasing Wayne Ellington would be a mistake on Phil’s part

  4. SBoy - Jul 17, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Keep Smith to start the season and see if being healthy enables him to build his value up. He is just one season removed from 6th man of the year.

    • SBoy - Jul 17, 2014 at 4:59 PM

      Then trade him.

  5. savvybynature - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    They probably would have if any team were dumb enough to take him, but no one was dumb enough to take that moronic contract off their hands and they don’t have any sweeteners left to facilitate a trade after wasting draft picks for years.

    • shanelsweet - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Bino! Another move by a big market team willing to sign any player that they think will help them win without caring that the player is not well liked or respected. Sort of like Marbury come to think of it. Fans deserve better than this guy to root for at every home game.

      • shanelsweet - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

        FYI, “Bino” means Bingo after 3 PBRs.

    • kinggw - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      His contract is very reasonable. I would love to have him on the Heat. The Heat need a backup 2 guard who can start here and there to spell Wade. That being said, I doubt he leaves the Knicks. Say what you want about him he’s a serviceable player.

      Players like Smith thrive in environments whether there is a healthy team environment and strong organizational culture. He would do great in San Antonio, Miami, Chicago, etc. Smith isn’t the problem in NY, he’s just one of the symptoms of their poor organizational culture.

  6. cruzan80 - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    “J.R. Smith is about the least triangle offense player in the league.”

    The fact that he’s athletic SG who in an off year shot .394 % from 3 & .415 from the field made the rest of this article hard read.

    He had off season knee surgery & didn’t get right until March….that’s very normal. His antics is what added insult to injury.

    In my opinion, this interview was a good sign for Knick fans. He owned up to all his wrongs, didn’t point blame at anyone even when Stephen A. smith tried to bait him into throwing Tyson Chandler under the bus & was honest about the entire team not buying into what the coaches game plan was.

    Talent was never a question with this guy. We all grow up eventually…some of us take a lil longer than others. I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if Smith had his best season as a pro this year. It wouldn’t be the 1st time we saw a “head case” turn it around simply with time. (i.e. Zach Randolph)

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:46 PM


  7. csbanter - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Smith will only get moved if the Knicks are willing to take back another expensive headache. So Knick fans save your time and lopsided trade scenarios.

    Smith to this team for a 1st round pick, not happening , no way, no chance. Phil got rid of some dead weight when Mavs took Felton, to do this twice in one summer that’s asking a lot.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      You said the same thing, I’m sure, when people suggested Felton be moved.

      I don’t see any expensive headaches in return for that trade, and we got rid of TWO of them at nearly $19 Million.

      • kinggw - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:44 PM

        Phil got rid of an expiring contract and one that ends the following season to take a player that is owed $21M going forward. Calderon’s deal would be the expensive headache.

  8. duhwighthoward - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    I wonder what the trade market is for JR Smith?

    He’s been given so much opportunity, and is clearly a bench player at this point in his career.

    Maybe Phil will sucker Lakers management into trading next season’s first round pick.

  9. aldavis4president - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    @Chicago Jr SMITH was a huge part of the nuggets team who took the Lakers to game 7, and quite frankly, (I’m a huge Kobe fan, NOT A LAKER FAN) if it wasn’t for the laker/heat reffing that game 7, nuggets would’ve won and made it to the championship. Jr Smith can ball, he spreads the floor with his range, he can dribble penetrate, and he can lock up on D. #haters

  10. 22yearsagotoday - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    He wasn’t 6th man of the year for nothing. Of course, that was two seasons ago. He has to play better or his worth will plummet even more. I hope he can play like he did two years ago.

  11. kclanton80 - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    I’m sure they did try and trade him but no one wanted him.

  12. archibaldnemesis - Jul 18, 2014 at 5:07 AM

    wow. some of the most sensible comments i’ve ever seen in a comments section. kudos.

  13. archibaldnemesis - Jul 18, 2014 at 5:10 AM

    you’d get a lot more value out of shumpert or hardaway in a trade. i’d like to see all three on the roster for next season at least but i’d prob take the risk that JR gets reinvigorated and see what i can get for shump. love shump, don’t wanna see him go, but gonna be losing him anyway come 2015 with a bigger contract demand then JR, no?

  14. redskins21lakers24 - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    I bet phil thinks jr smith is gonna be the new kobe bryant lol phil sucks

  15. martinbay10 - Jul 20, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Amazing — and rather stupid — candor by Smith. Who would sign him? He should retire.

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