2013 NBA Free Agency: New York Knicks Reportedly Finalizing Deal With J.R. Smith

By Ryan Heckman


Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have had a curious start to free agency. Their first move wasn’t a free agent signing, but somewhat of a head-scratching trade. The Toronto Raptors dealt the Knicks Andrea Bargnani in exchange for Marcus Camby, Steve Novak and a couple of picks.

Personally, I think the deal makes the Knicks better at the moment. Losing Camby and Novak isn’t an enormous blow. Bargnani will give New York scoring — and that’s about it.

Personnel wise, it was a great move. Financially speaking, it was a pretty gruesome deal. Bargnani still has over $22 million on his contract for the next two years.

New York has two major free agents this offseason that need to be taken care of, but it’s not likely that both will return. Both Chris Copeland and J.R. Smith could be signed elsewhere, and that would result in a huge blow to their rotation.

Moving along, the Knicks’ next move could be a bit unexpected and to the delight of Knicks fans everywhere. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News tweeted Wednesday night that the Knicks are bringing back a fan favorite from 2012:



Bringing Smith back must mean one of two things. First, they could have decided to dip even further into the luxury tax and gave him a bit more than they could have originally afforded. Or, he took a bit of a discount to stay in New York. Either way, fans should be very pleased.

The reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year was a huge part of their success last year and brought the Knicks handfuls of exciting moments. He brought an energy level that was unmatched at times and knocked down some huge shots over the span of the season.

One guy that has to be happy about this potential deal is Carmelo Anthony. He and Smith are great friends and is a big reason why Smith chose to come to New York last year. With both Anthony and Smith in the rotation, the Knicks will be better off. Even though the Knicks are financially a mess right now, Smith gives them a better chance to win, and that’s all that matters.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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