The New York Knicks have the ability to re-sign J.R. Smith to a deal that increases his salary by 20% of what he earned last season. That would make his salary for next season around $2.8 million. Although he hasn't re-signed yet, it's believed around the league that it's just a matter of time and that he's simply waiting to see if the Knicks use their mid-level exception on another player or not. J.R. will presumably return to the Knicks back court. However, could his brother Chris join him on the Knicks roster?
Chris Smith is an undrafted free agent out of Louisville. He's a guard who helped coach Rick Pitino and the Cardinals win the Big East Tournament title and reach the Final Four. Adam Zagoria of zagsblog.com reports Chris be playing for the Knicks summer league team in Las Vegas and hopes he can joint his brother on the Knicks final roster.
“Oh, that would be something special, you know?” Chris, 24, told SNY.tv Thursday by phone.
“It’s probably one of the first times it [brothers playing together] ever happened.”
While it would be a dream come true for the New Jersey native he also realizes that the decks are stacked against him.
“I’m really ecstatic because a lot of people don’t expect me to have a chance at the next level, and the Knicks gave me an opportunity to just be able to go out there and play hard, really,” he said.
Chris knows that if he has any chance to make the Knicks final roster he'll have to show versatility and the ability to play strong defense on the NBA level.
“I’m going to try to play a little bit of point guard, show them that I can play the game,” he said, “show off my ability to play defense really and be able to guard multiple positions.”
More than anything, he's just thankful for the chance the Knicks have given him.
He added: “I want to thank the Louisville fans and the Knicks for the opportunity.”
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