The New York Knicks have won three of their last four games. They are starting to get better play out of Iman Shumpert, and Tim Hardaway Jr. is looking like a player that can develop into a solid scorer one day. That makes the enigma that is J.R. Smith expendable, and the Knicks realize that. According to reports, the Knicks are exploring ways to trade Smith.
Smith had a career year last year. He was named the sixth man of the year, he was averaging 18.1 points per game, and his field goal percentage was at a respectable 42 percent. This year, however, both of those numbers have plummeted. He now averages 11.1 points per game and his field goal percentage is a dismal 34 percent. To make matters worse, he is getting in trouble off the court after not getting into trouble last season. It is clear that Smith kept his focus last year because he was in a contract year and was trying to get one last payday. The Knicks made a stupid move by giving Smith $18 million in guaranteed money.
Now that Smith is playing horribly, his contract looks worse to teams. His value is not that high right now. Add onto that his immaturity and low basketball IQ, and it will be very hard for the Knicks to trade him. While teams will take a chance on Smith, the Knicks will get very little value in return for him.
Last season, Smith was the Knicks’ second best player and one of the main reasons that the Knicks had their best season in years. This season, it has all gone downhill for Smith. The Knicks want him gone, but it will take a miracle to get him out of New York.