Sources: Pistons, Bucks court J.R.

July, 3, 2013
7/03/13
12:13
AM ET
The Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks are among the top suitors for New York Knicks free-agent guard J.R. Smith, according to league sources.

On Tuesday, the market for shooting guards began to take shape. This development could have a direct impact on Smith's future.

J.J. Redick agreed to a four-year, $27 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, via a sign-and-trade. Oklahoma City Thunder sharpshooter Kevin Martin signed a four-year contract in the neighborhood of $30 million, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

Smith averaged more points (18.1) and rebounds (5.3) per game than both players, but his reputation for inconsistent play and his subpar postseason may impact the offers he receives.

Other teams, such as Charlotte, Dallas and reportedly Houston, are expected to show interest in Smith, depending on what happens with the top free agents on the market. All three teams are under the salary cap and can offer Smith more than the $5.5 million over four years that the Knicks can offer, if they choose.

One person close to Smith believes that, if all offers are equal, the 2012-13 Sixth Man Award winner will choose to return to New York.

Smith has a strong relationship with Coach Mike Woodson and the Freehold, N.J., product enjoys playing close to his family.

But it could be difficult for Smith to turn down a lucrative offer or the chance to start for another team. Smith has signed contracts below market value for the past two seasons in New York.

One option for the Knicks is to offer Smith a two-year deal with an option for the second year. If Smith accepts, New York would have his full Bird rights and exceed the salary cap to make him an offer next summer. Smith, according to a league source, is the Knicks' top free-agent priority.

Can they cope without him? Another free agent the Knicks have to make a decision on is restricted free agent Chris Copeland. A league source told ESPN's Marc Stein that the Pacers have made an offer to Copeland. Another league source told ESPNNewYork's Jared Zwerling that the Lakers have made an offer to the 29-year-old.

The Knicks have made a qualifying offer to Copeland worth $988,872. If another team offers Copeland more money, the Knicks could use all or part of their $3.1 million mini mid-level exception to match the offer. The specifics of Indy's and Los Angeles' offers to Copeland are unclear at this point. The Knicks also hope to re-sign Pablo Prigioni.

They have only the mini mid-level and veteran's minimum contracts to offer free agents.

The Knicks reportedly have shown interest in Francisco Garcia, Devin Harris, Will Bynum, Monta Ellis, Aaron Brooks, Carlos Delfino and Nate Robinson.

Allen and Ellis -- and probably Robinson -- will likely get bigger paydays elsewhere. Garcia and Barnes could provide stability at small forward, while Delfino would give the Knicks bench shooting.

Brooks would help fill the gap at backup point guard. He is represented by CAA, the same firm that reps Carmelo Anthony, Smith, Andrea Bargnani and others in the Knicks organization.

In addition to re-signing Smith, Prigioni and Copeland, the Knicks will also have to make decisions on free-agent forward Kenyon Martin. On Tuesday, ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling reported that they were preparing an offer for Elton Brand. If they land Brand, they likely won't have room for Martin.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
23.4 3.3 0.8 36.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.4
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.1
StealsP. Prigioni 1.3
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.3