After becoming the Sixth Man of the Year and putting together the best season of his career, most expected J.R. Smith to decline his modest $2.9M 2013-14 season option and look for more money elsewhere. Due to the Knicks’ financial situation, they would theoretically not be able to pay him the amount of money that most expected him to be worth after this season. However, Smith wants to stay.
Ever since J.R. was ejected against the Boston Celtics, he fell into a slump he could not manage to shoot himself out of through the rest of the postseason. As such, the Knicks’ chances of re-signing him this summer are significantly higher. It also helps that Smith wants to retire as a Knick, according to Alan Hahn’s Sulia:
Smith took off his jersey for the last time this season and stared at it for a moment.
“I don’t want to be anywhere else,” he thought to himself, “but in orange and blue.”
“I want to retire a Knick,” he said. “I don’t want to go anywhere else.”
If Smith was to opt out, the Knicks could offer him the league average, which is around $5.5M for the first year of the potential contract. Considering how well Smith played in the regular season, that figure is certainly a bargain. However, his postseason performance was not particularly encouraging. Taking everything into consideration, we will probably see Smith in New York next season.
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