Monday, May 20, 2013
Chris Smith: I will be reunited with J.R.
By Ian Begley
Chris Smith (right) sounds confident that he and J.R. will suit up again for the Knicks.
At least one person close to J.R. Smith believes the free-agent-to-be will be back with the Knicks next season.
Chris Smith, J.R.'s younger brother, tweeted on Sunday, "I will be back with my big brother @TheRealJRSmith ... Will be a blessing to wear my Knicks uniform."
Chris signed a multiyear deal with the Knicks last summer after playing on their summer league team but was released after he suffered an ACL injury in the preseason. He is a free agent and recently split with his agent, Marc Cornstein, to sign with CAA and Leon Rose, according to a league source. Rose also represents J.R. Smith.
The younger Smith is expected to participate with the Knicks' summer league team in Las Vegas, according to the source.
His agent switch was first reported by the New York Post.
J.R. Smith is expected to decline the player option for 2013-14 on his contract and test free agency. He said after the Knicks' Game 6 loss in Indy that he wants to retire as a Knick.
The Knicks likely will make it a priority to re-sign Smith, who won the NBA's Sixth Man Award but struggled in the postseason.
New York has Smith's early Bird rights and can offer him a four-year contract starting at approximately $5 million with standard raises.
But the Knicks might have competition for Smith's services. Another team with significant cap space can offer Smith more than $5 million.