FRIDAY, 7:50am: The Knicks are expected to add Smith in time for him to make his debut on Sunday, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Berman says Renaldo Balkman is the most likely candidate to be waived to clear a roster spot.
THURSDAY, 5:50pm: Alex Kennedy from HoopsWorld (via Twitter) just spoke with Smith, who confirmed he is nearing a deal with the Knicks.
5:35pm: ESPN.com's resident Collective Bargaining Agreement expert Larry Coon tweets that the pro-rated veteran's minimum that the Clippers can offer is worth $656,370 today versus $2,358,871 for the mini mid-level exception. According to Coon, this is because the mini mid-level exception didn't start pro-rating until February 10, whereas the veteran's minimum began pro-ration on December 26. In other words, the difference is bigger than we thought.
4:34pm: The Clippers "still think they have a shot" to sign Smith, a source tells Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York. Smith is expected to make a decision one way or the other within a day or so.
11:52am: The Knicks are closing in on an agreement with J.R. Smith, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Isola reports that Smith's agent, Leon Rose, met with MSG chairman James Dolan Wednesday night to attempt to finalize a deal. Mike Bibby, Renaldo Balkman or Toney Douglas are the likely candidates to be released if Smith joins the Knicks.
As we heard earlier today, the Knicks appear to be vying with the Clippers for Smith, who returned to America from China in the last 24 hours. One advantage the Knicks have over L.A. is the availability of their pro-rated $2.5MM mini mid-level exception. The Clippers could only offer Smith the pro-rated veteran's minimum for the rest of this season. The Knicks could also add a player option for next year to their offer; while Smith would likely decline it and become an unrestricted free agent, it would provide a level of security.
Smith requires a letter of clearance from FIBA before he can officially finalize a contract with an NBA team.