In desperate need of scoring off the bench, the New York Knicks have agreed to a deal with former Denver Nugget JR Smith. Smith was just released from his contract in China, where he spent the lockout. A former teammate of Carmelo Anthony, Smith averaged 12.3 ppg in 27 minutes a game off the bench in Denver last season and will likely take Renaldo Balkman's roster spot.
Smith is a career 37% three point shooter, and excels in the catch and shoot game that Steve Novak has perfected since the emergence of Jeremy Lin. What Smith brings that Novak does not is the ability to create his own shot off the dribble and carry a team if need be. Smith's athleticism will be an added bonus to a bench that already features athletic guard Iman Shumpert. The question now becomes whether Smith and his ego can make it work in New York. Once labeled insane by former coach George Karl, Smith's persona would seem to be a disaster waiting to happen for New York. He can be immature at times, and often can become trigger happy and ball dominant. The hope here would be that veterans Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler can reign in Smith and keep him under control.
No word yet on Smiths contract, as he was angling for a player option for a second year. It is known that Smith will receive a prorated amount of the room exception, and hopefully plenty of these from Jeremy Lin:
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