I hope New York Knicks fans are cherishing every moment they have with J.R. Smith, because there’s a possibility that he won’t return next season.
According to Moke Hamilton of Sheridan Hoops, Smith is expected to opt of his contract following the season.
Smith is coming off of a career year in which he turned in career highs across the board: 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
This past season, he opened eyes across the league and has been vital in the Knicks’ revival.
Yet this past season, his $2.8 million salary was not only far below his market value, it was less than the $4.05 million the Knicks paid shooter savant Steve Novak.
Smith has a player option for next season, and a source close to Smith tells SheridanHoops.com that it is “very, very likely” that he will opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
If so, the Knicks will be limited in what they may offer him.
The Knicks have the “early Bird” exception, which they can use to re-sign Smith to a 4-year-contract at roughly $6 million per season according to Hamilton’s calculations. Will that be enough to keep the recently crowned Sixth man of the Year in the Big Apple? We’ll have to wait and see.