Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Family ties will factor into Smith decision?
By Ian Begley
Chris Smith's relationship with his brother, J.R. Smith, will factor into whether the Knicks keep him or cut him, according to reports.
"I look at him just like I look at J.R., though J.R. is the guy who played in a uniform and has been very productive for us. I have a great deal of respect for that family," Woodson said of Chris Smith after the Knicks' shootaround on Wednesday, reports stated. "That’s his brother. I respect that. We got to make some decisions. What those decisions will be, I don’t know."
The Knicks have to set their regular-season roster by Monday at 5 p.m. Woodson reportedly will meet with his coaching staff, scouts, president/GM Steve Mills and owner James Dolan after Thursday's practice to make cuts. The Knicks currently have 20 players on the roster. They need cut that to 15 for the regular season.
Woodson said Chris Smith is still "in the mix."
Guard Toure' Murry has had a strong training camp. If the Knicks keep Smith on the 15-man roster, it will be interesting to see if the Knicks also choose to keep Murry.
That's his brother. I respect that. We got to make some decisions. What those decisions will be, I don't know.
-- Mike Woodson on Chris Smith
The Knicks have 12 players under guaranteed contracts and three open roster spots. Big man Jeremy Tyler and forward C.J. Leslie have partially-guaranteed contracts.
Leslie has had an up-and-down (mostly down) camp.
Woodson hinted strongly on Wednesday that the Knicks will keep Tyler on the 15-man roster, according to reports.
"He’s still patiently going through rehab," Woodson said. "I don’t think we kick him to the curb. We thought so much coming out of summer league. I think at least see it through, see what he has to offer. He’s a young big. Our thought process was to try to develop him."
The Knicks also have to decide if they want to keep Chris Douglas-Roberts and the three big men they invited to camp (Ike Diogu, Cole Aldrich and Josh Powell).
Diogu has played well throughout camp.
Knicks owner James Dolan, according to multiple league sources, has stated that he wants the Knicks to add young players at the end of the roster that the organization can develop. That could factor in to the team's decision to keep Tyler over the veteran big men that they have in training camp.
An added layer to the Knicks' decision on Chris Smith are his ties to the agency CAA, where both Chris and J.R. are clients. The agency has close business ties to the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, Mike Woodson, assistant GM Allan Houston and front office member Mark Warkentein are also represented by the agency.
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