Although J.R. Smith recently tweeted comments suggesting he might be on his way out of New York, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that Smith is leaning toward exercising his option and remaining a Knick. Smith, who holds a $2.5MM player option for 2012/13, said yesterday that he was "just messing" with fans on Twitter.
Ever since Smith signed with New York this season for the mini mid-level exception, reports have gone back and forth on whether he'll opt in for the second year of his contract. Berman suggests that a poor playoff performance could have an impact Smith's decision — the 26-year-old averaged just 12.2 points in 35.0 minutes per game vs. Miami, shooting 31.6% from the floor and just 17.9% from downtown.
"The way the economy is working nowadays, I don’t even know," Smith said of his value on the open market. "In my heart I believe I am [worth more than $2.5MM]. But you got a look at it from a standpoint of where everyone else is as well."
Like Smith, I still believe he's worth more than $2.5MM on the open market, and I have my doubts about whether he'll really opt in. If he does, it would complicate matters for New York, who won't have the means to retain all their free agents this offseason. If Smith opts in, the team should still be able to re-sign Jeremy Lin, but may have to part ways with Landry Fields and Steve Novak.