A left knee injury scuttled the opportunity Chris Smith, the younger brother of J.R. Smith, had to make the Knicks out of training camp this fall, but he hasn't fallen off the team's radar. The Knicks still plan to bring Smith aboard, a source tells Keith Schlosser of Knicks Journal. His original timetable for recovery from patella tendon surgery had been three to six months, and since the injury occured in October, he could be nearing a return.
The Knicks have a full 15-man roster with the addition of Kenyon Martin on a 10-day contract, so unless they waive someone, there's no room for Smith. They could let Martin's contract lapse, but GM Glen Grunwald is hopeful Martin remains on the team through the end of the season. Schlosser points out that Smith's first post-injury stop may be the Knicks' D-League affiliate. The Knicks, who run the basketball operations for the Erie Bayhawks, could have Smith sign a D-League contract with Erie and wait until next season to bring him to the big club. Of course, the Knicks wouldn't retain his NBA rights that way, and if another NBA club wanted to negotiate with and sign Smith, it could.
The Knicks have allowed Smith to hang around the team this season and rehab his knee at the team facilities, and as Schlosser notes, he's been a fixture at the team's home games, sometimes making the trip to road games as well. The 25-year-old guard went undrafted out of Louisville this past June.