New York Knicks to Re-Sign JR Smith (UPDATE)

by July 04, 2013

by Marcel Mutoni / @ marcel_mutoni

UPDATE: JR Smith’s agent, Leon Rose, confirmed this morning that a deal has been reached between Smith and the New York Knicks.

At the end of last season, JR Smith told the media that his intent was to retire as a New York Knick. It appears he’s moving closer to that goal.

According to multiple published reports, Smith and the Knicks are putting the finishing touches on a four-year, $24 million contract extension.

Per the NY Daily News:

According to a Knicks source, the deal could be completed by Thursday. Smith is expected to receive the “Average Player Salary Exception” which could amount to $24 million over four seasons. The expected signing assures the Knicks of having their top five players under contract next season — Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler. Also, according to a basketball site in Argentina, the Knicks have offered Pablo Prigioni a two-year contract extension.

After Smith, who will turn 28 in September, averaged a career-best 18.1 points last season in 80 games, all as a reserve, the Knicks’ focus this summer was re-signing him. For months, Smith had said his desire was to return to the Knicks. He also had two influential power brokers in his corner: Garden Chairman James Dolan and Anthony, who was also Smith’s teammate with the Denver Nuggets.

According to JR Smith’s father, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year is still weighing his options, though it’s unlikely he’ll be offered more money elsewhere.

Per the NY Post:

“I’m diehard Knick fan, I want to see my son get justice,” Earl Smith said on Wednesday night. “We know the Knicks only have so much money because of early bird rights. But if some team offers a crazy amount of money, like $10 million per, he’ll probably go there. We’ll see what happens. He’s not signing yet (tonight).” Two of his suitors, Houston and Dallas, were waiting to see if they landed (Dwight) Howard before making an offer for Smith Friday that could be a four-year deal.

Smith experienced his best season in 2012-’13, until things completely fell apart in the Playoffs.