After J.R. Smith called out Paul Pierce for being bitter after being traded from the Celtics in a piece by ESPN New York's Ian Begley, Begley offered up some additional material from his conversation with Smith.
Begley asked J.R, about Carmelo Anthony's impending decision next summer whether to opt-out of his contract with the Knicks. 'Melo's current deal will pay him $23.333MM for the 2014/15 season. If he does terminate the contract early, as many expect, he'll be eligible to re-sign with the Knicks for a five-year, $129MM deal. Another team could only sign him for $95MM over four years.
Said Smith, via Begley's tweet, "I don't see him leaving, but I said the same thing in Denver so it's up to him." Here's more around the Eastern Conference during a Saturday night when many are watching the opening day of college football…
- In reaction to the same Begley piece from earlier today, CBS Sports' Zach Harper debates whether the NBA could possibly issue a fine after misconstruing Smith's comments as a more deliberate "threat."
- The fine would come on the heels of the news earlier this week that David Stern called a meeting to clear the air last season between Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Knicks owner James Dolan.
- Orlando Sentinel columnist Brian K. Schmitz tweets that the Magic are negotiating with Hedo Turkoglu for a buy-out. The Magic are on the hook for $6MM of Hedo's $12MM 2014/15 salary, and the full amount if he's still on the roster by January 7th.
- But that's highly unlikely since Turkoglu could well be playing in his native Turkey by that time. Can Pelister of TrendBasket.net reported earlier this week that Turkish team Fenerbahce Ulker is prepared to make Hedo a substantial offer.
- Schmitz also adds that the Magic are inviting 2nd rounder Romero Osby to training camp as well as four free agents.