According to Frank Isola of the Daily News, the New York Knicks may want to keep Chris Smith on the final roster as the Knicks break camp next week.
Call it nepotism at its finest.
Just what exactly do the Knicks see in J.R. Smith’s little brother? The younger Smith has limited skills as a combo guard, and at 6’2”, 200 lb.’s, Smith is best suited to play point guard. But with Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Beno Udrih and Toure Murry all ahead of Smith in the pecking order of things, where exactly does Smith fit in?
Knicks coach Mike Woodson was trying to be diplomatic when asked of Smith’s chances to make the roster.
“I look at him just like I look at J.R., though J.R. is the guy who played in a uniform and has been very productive for us. I have a great deal of respect for that family,” Woodson said. “That’s his brother. I respect that. We got to make some decisions. What those decisions will be, I don’t know."
That does not sound like a ringing endorsement for Smith.
Are the Knicks higher-ups forcing Woodson’s hands? It sure sounds like it.
Maybe they want Chris around to babysit J.R. and make sure J.R. does not get into any trouble. This is a volatile situation and you’re just asking for trouble if that is the only reason for keeping the younger Smith on the roster.
NBA and agents have long suspected that once J.R. re-signed with the Knicks on July he was given assurances that Chris would make the team. Both players are represented by CAA whose list of clients includes Woodson and Carmelo Anthony.
Smith is just not an NBA-caliber player. While he did well in his collegiate career at Louisville, Smith is just too erratic, inconsistent and small to make an impact in the NBA. Smith didn't even impress in summer-league action.
In just three preseason games, Smith has averaged just 6.7 minutes per game while scoring just one basket on seven tries.
Does this sound like the player the Knicks should hold on to?
If the Knicks do hold on to Smith they would have to let go of either Cole Aldrich, Ike Diogu or Josh Powell. These three, while not that exciting, would at least serve a need for the Knicks and that is to provide the Knicks with a competent post player. With nagging injuries to Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin, as well as Tyson Chandler being no spring chicken, the Knicks would be better served by holding on to one of the above mentioned big men.
While Smith is gritty, hard-nosed player, this is no time for favors and retaining Smith is a bad idea, as it would send the wrong message.
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