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Poll: Was J.R. Smith’s New Deal A Good Idea?

The Knicks' top priority this offseason was re-signing swingman J.R. Smith to a new deal.  The unrestricted free agent was garnering a good deal of interest on the open market but the Knicks and agent Leon Rose agreed to a four-year, $24.7MM deal on July 4th.  Done deal, right?  Not quite.

Soon after, it was revealed that Smith would have to undergo offseason knee surgery.  Suddenly, what seemed like a no-brainer deal for the defending Sixth Man of the Year was no longer a slam dunk.  The patellar tendon surgery and arthroscopy for a tear in the lateral meniscus of his left knee will keep Smith out for at least the first few weeks of the 2013/14 season.  After the news of the surgery was disclosed, Smith and Rose got the deal amended to a three-year, $17.95MM pact, which may be a positive for the Knicks, depending on how you look at it.

Yesterday, we learned that Smith will be out even longer than expected after being suspended for a drug violation.  After his knee heals up, Smith will have to be sidelined for an additional five games and given Smith's reported proclivity for partying, one has to wonder if this could be a recurring issue.  

By the same token, Smith is coming off of a career year in which he averaged 18.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 2.7 APG in 33.5 minutes per game off of the bench.  It's not easy to find that kind of production elsewhere, especially when you don't have cap space to work with.  All things considered, is Smith's three-year, $17.95MM deal a good idea for the Knicks?

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3 thoughts on “Poll: Was J.R. Smith’s New Deal A Good Idea?

  1. Yes and No.

    They knew the risks of resigning him. Where else can you find a secondary scoring option who had a stat line like he did last year, especially for that price?

    However the reason they probably were able to get him to sign for that price is because other teams were scared away and he only played that well because it was a contract year.

    • therealprof

      JR made it abundantly clear that he wanted to play for the Knicks, which I am sure made some potential suitors shy away, but because of his antics, there was no way to really set the market on him. I am pretty sure JR will perform in the next few seasons in “bench scorer” role at least up to his salary. This deal is not a bad deal by any stretch of the imagination, JR is not Beasley. He can be maddeningly stupid at times, but he plays hard and wants to win.

  2. therealprof

    This question exposes a gross lack of knowledge about the circumstances surrounding the signing. To boil down the JR Smith signing to a “good or bad deal” is to ignore the fact that early bird rights were used to re-sign him and that the Knicks were over the cap so the money used to sign him could not have been reallocated to another player. Now, the real question is this “Is signing JR Smith to a team-friendly contract (according to his stat line he will likely be the lowest salary to PPG ratio based off of last years numbers) better than not signing him and not having the financial flexibility to replace his production?”. The answer to that question is a resounding yes, even if he misses 5 games from getting busted with weed. Even assuming it happens again throughout the next 3 seasons, still yes. Everybody knows JR is a knucklehead, especially Knick fans, but to not sign him would be one of the dumbest things a GM has ever done, save drafting Adam Morrison/Darko Milicic.

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