J.R. Smith won the Sixth Man of The Year Award last season as a member of the New York Knicks, which is a very prestigious honor. What he didn’t win, or rather help the Knicks win, is a title, let alone a second playoff series. When Smith is on, he is amazing. He is quick, enabling him to drive to the basket, and his athleticism allows him to be one of the best bad-shot makers in the league. When he is off, he makes terrible shots, forcing plays and derailing the offense.
He was arguably the difference in prolonging the Celtics series and the loss against the Pacers. Had he either made a few more shots or a few better decisions, the Knicks would have advanced against the Heat. Whether or not they would have been the Heat is up for grabs, but they did have success in the regular season against them (I would bet my money that the Heat would still beat them).
With this being said, Smith can be an asset to whatever team he lands on, which appears will be the New York Knicks. Despite being able to get more money elsewhere, it appears that he strong relationships with Jim Dolan, Carmelo Anthony, and Mike Woodson along with the ability to have his family attend the majority of Knicks games have made Smith choosing a return to the Big Apple.
While the exact parameters of the deal are not set, we do have an idea of what the contract could entail. According to Sny.tv’s Mike Hamilton:
Because Smith would be an early Bird free agent if he opts out this summer, under the first calculation, the Knicks can offer him a starting salary of $4.9 million by using the 175 percent rule.
Under the second calculation, they could offer Smith 104.5 percent of whatever is the average player salary for the 2012-13 season, a number we won’t know until July 1, 2013, when the league’s finances for the previous season are fully accounted.
But for all intents and purposes, we can safely assume that the average player salary will end up being around $5.34 million. Under the second calculation, the Knicks could give Smith a starting salary of $5.58 million.
So, that’s it.
The most the Knicks can offer Smith in year one of a new deal would be $5.58 million.
Love him or hate him Knicks fans, it appears as the tatted out, talented headache is heading back to the Big City.
Check out the best of the best from Smith:
- Smith Staying Or Going? (thasportsjunkies101.wordpress.com)
- J.R. Smith Will Opt Out Of Contract, Highlights of 2013 season (whosesportsblog.com)
- As expected, J.R. Smith won’t opt in with Knicks (newsday.com)
- Knicks Extend Qualifying Offer To Chris Copeland, Expected To Decline (whosesportsblog.com)
- Knicks News: J.R. Smith: Should I Stay or Should I Go? (knickswag.com)