Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Busy summer for Shumpert?
By Ian Begley
The Knicks won't officially announce their summer league roster until after the draft, but as of now, the team expects Iman Shumpert to participate.
According to a league source, Chris Smith, J.R.'s brother, is expected to play as well.
Iman Shumpert might be taking his talents to the summer league.
The team wants Shumpert to get reps in Las Vegas after he missed the first two-and-a-half months of the 2012-13 season while recovering from ACL surgery.
The Knicks may ask Shumpert to play point guard during summer league. There is an inherent risk, of course, with asking Shumpert to play in organized games during the summer. It would be devastating for the organization if Shumpert suffered an injury, and the move to play him would then be heavily second-guessed.
As for Chris Smith, he signed a two-year contract with the Knicks last summer but was released during the preseason after he suffered a torn ACL.
The younger Smith has spent time rehabbing and working out at the Knicks' practice facility and, according to those who have seen him work out recently, is nearly back at full strength.
The Knicks have informed Smith he will have a spot on the summer league team, but it should be noted that those plans can change before they announce the official roster. Also, Smith's summer league spot doesn't guarantee him an invite to training camp or a spot on the regular season roster.
An interesting wrinkle to Smith's expected participation is that his brother J.R. will test free-agency this summer. So J.R. Smith may be in the midst of negotiations with the Knicks or another team while his brother suits up for New York's summer league squad.
Chris Smith predicted late last month that both he and his brother will be playing for New York next season.
In late May, Chris tweeted, "I will be back with my big brother @TheRealJRSmith ... Will be a blessing to wear my Knicks uniform."
The Knicks will play the New Orleans Pelicans on July 12 to kick off the Vegas Summer League, the NBA announced Wednesday. They will then play the Wizards on July 14 and Charlotte on July 15 before tournament play begins.