Chris Smith wasn’t among the five players whom the Knicks waived today, so he’s set to remain with the team as it begins the regular season. Coach Mike Woodson has acknowledged that the presence of J.R. Smith, Smith’s brother, would help Chris make the opening-night roster, and while Smith agrees, he feels he would be on the roster regardless of whether his brother were there.
“Did it help me? Of course,” Chris said to reporters, including Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, about the family connection (Twitter link). Still, he added that, “I feel like I earned my position on the team.”
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports doesn’t buy the notion that Chris would have made the team on his own merits, arguing (on Twitter) that the deal was sealed when J.R. re-signed with the team this summer. Here’s more on the blue-and-orange, via Begley’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:
- Woodson said Smith and Toure Murry will spend time on assignment to the Erie BayHawks, the D-League affiliate of the Knicks.
- Woodson said the team waived Jeremy Tyler because of a need for healthy bodies. Tyler is out as he recovers from foot surgery, though Woodson added that the team will continue to keep tabs on him. The Knicks likely won’t be able to use their D-League affiliate to do so, however. The Santa Cruz Warriors own Tyler’s D-League rights since that was the last D-League team he played for, as Marc Berman of the New York Post points out on Sulia.
- The Knicks kept Cole Aldrich instead of Ike Diogu because Aldrich is younger, bigger and a true center, Woodson also said.