TUESDAY, 10:18am: The Knicks have officially signed Tyler and waived Smith, the team announced today (Twitter link).
MONDAY, 3:32pm: The Knicks have yet to officially announce any roster moves, but the team has reached a contract agreement with Tyler, tweets Begley. According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link), Tyler is expected to ink his deal tomorrow morning.
1:39pm: The Knicks have decided to release J.R. Smith‘s younger brother Chris Smith, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. The move will open up a roster spot, allowing the team to sign Jeremy Tyler. Marc Berman of the New York Post reports (via Twitter) that Tyler left the Erie BayHawks for New York yesterday, and that the details of his contract with the Knicks are being “hammered out.”
Begley and Berman had both reported earlier that Smith was a candidate to be waived as New York prepared to make room for Tyler. The move won’t save the team any money, since Smith’s non-guaranteed salary became fully guaranteed when he made the Knicks’ opening night roster. Cole Aldrich and Toure’ Murry are still on non-guaranteed deals, and could have been cut, but both players have received more minutes this season than the younger Smith, who just made his NBA debut last Wednesday. According to Begley, the team considered waiving Aldrich but ultimately decided to part ways with Smith instead.
The Knicks’ signing of Smith, and the subsequent decision to carry him on the regular season roster, raised eyebrows around the NBA, as we’ve detailed. Given the club’s limited flexibility to sign J.R. Smith to a lucrative long-term contract this summer, some rival agents viewed the two signings as a package deal, and one GM referred to Chris Smith as “maybe the worst player in the history of the Summer League,” according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Once the release of Smith becomes official, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 26-year-old rejoin the Erie BayHawks, New York’s D-League affiliate.