J.R. Smith is likely to opt out of his deal for next season with the Knicks, and once he does, he'll be looking for a long-term deal, writes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. While Smith's comments suggest he'd favor the Knicks over other teams, New York can't do any better than a four-year deal worth about $25MM, since they only have his Early Bird rights. As our Ryan Raroque surmised when he looked at Smith's free agent stock, the Sixth Man of the Year will be able to command a hefty raise on his $2.8MM salary this season. We'll soon find out whether the Knicks' best offer will be enough.
Washburn has more on the NBA as part of his weekly column, and we'll round that up along with other Sunday afternoon tidbits here:
- Washburn gets former NBA executive Tom Penn's take on the future of the Celtics, and hears from Glen Davis of the Magic, who says he's willing to stick it out through the team's rebuilding process.
- Jarrett Jack is adamant that he'll prioritize a return to the Warriors in free agency this summer, even if it means passing up the opportunity to become a starter elsewhere, as he tells Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
- Bucks center Joel Przybilla saw a total of just 68 minutes this season, but he says he's healthy and believes he can still play in the NBA next season, reports Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times. He'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
- Shooting guard Trey Johnson and Italian club Angelico Biella have parted ways, Sportando's Emiliano Carchia reports (Twitter link). Johnson appeared in 11 games with the Pelicans in 2011/12, and has also spent time with the Cavaliers, Raptors and Lakers.
- Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress already had Giannis Adetokunbo on his list of early entrants for the draft, as did we, and agent Giorgos Dimitropoulos confirms the Greek swingman has officially declared, Givony tweets.
With NBA rosters set, plenty of players who were waived prior to the regular season by NBA teams have turned to the D-League, as we outlined yesterday. However, others are looking overseas as they attempt to continue their basketball careers. Here's the latest on a number of players who are signing with or drawing interest from non-NBA clubs:
Yesterday, we heard that the Hornets will sign Solomon Jones to a 10-day contract and that Eric Gordon underwent successful knee surgery. Today brings more news on the Hornets, so let's round it up right here....
- David Stern has reduced the list of potential buyers for the Hornets from about seven to two or three, writes J. Michael Falgoust of USA Today. The commissioner is optimistic about completing a sale by month's end.
- Following Gordon's surgery, coach Monty Williams said reports suggesting the 23-year-old doesn't want to play for the Hornets are "way off base," according to the Associated Press (via ESPN). Williams added that Gordon is "a big part of what we want to do and where we're going."
- The Hornets are making a mistake by not being more forthcoming with the team's fans, says John DeShazier of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
- Italian team Novipiu Casale is eyeing Trey Johnson, according to a Sportando report. Johnson signed with Novipiu Casale but didn't play with the club due to an injury. Johnson returned to the NBA in December, appearing in 11 games with the Hornets before being waived late in January.