1:48pm: Smith was upset over his playing time and left the team several days ago, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
1:22pm: Smith had several run-ins with Erie’s coaches, precipitating the decision to let him go, tweets Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
1:00pm: The BayHawks have officially waived Smith, the team announced.
8:42am: The D-League affiliate of the Knicks has decided to waive former Knicks guard Chris Smith, a source tells Gino Pilato of D-League Digest. The Erie BayHawks have yet to make an official announcement, but it appears one of the most controversial additions to an NBA roster this season is about to find himself without a home in the D-League, much less the NBA.
The Knicks signed Smith, the brother of J.R. Smith, in the offseason to a minimum-salary contract that became fully guaranteed if he made the team out of camp, and he did so, sticking with New York for the first two months of the season. This was despite the reported belief of some Knicks coaches who thought Chris Smith wasn’t even qualified to play in the the D-League. The Knicks waived him in December, irking his brother, and Chris Smith wound up heading to play in the D-League, where the BayHawks grabbed his rights.
Chris Smith averaged 8.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 20.8 minutes per game for Erie, though some of his 23 appearances came on assignment while still under contract with the Knicks. The 26-year-old hasn’t played since a five-minute cameo on February 22nd. The Knicks are still on the hook for the Leon Rose client‘s full NBA salary for this season, which is compounded because of luxury tax penalties.
Both Smith brothers signed new contracts with the Knicks this summer, though it appeared that the one the team gave to Chris was in deference to J.R., who won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season. Rose, the agent for both Smiths, is with the Creative Artists Agency, which has close ties to Knicks management. Rose also represents Carmelo Anthony, who plans to opt out of his deal with New York and become a free agent this summer.