According to our own Adam Zagoria, a source has told SNY.tv that J.R. Smith will opt out of his contract on Tuesday and become an unrestricted free agent.
Knicks guard J.R. Smith will opt out of his player option with the Knicks on Tuesday, a source with direct knowledge confirmed to SNY.tv.
“Yes, he is,” the source said.
The time frame was first reported by the Daily News.
Smith, the newly-minted Sixth Man of the Year, is owed $2.9 million on his current deal, but it had long been assumed that he would opt out to test free agency.
J.R. came under fire from fans and the media for his poor play in the playoffs and for his reported late night outings at nightclubs.
This season was his second year with the Knicks, first full season, and was the second leading scorer with 18.1 points along with averaging 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
But, in the playoffs he averaged 14.3 points per game and saw his shooting percentage drop from 42% in the regular season to 33% in the postseason.
Matthew FalkenburyAccording to SNY.tv’s Moke Hamilton this is what the deal is when it comes to Smith’s salary cap ramifications if the Knicks do in fact re-sign him.
Because Smith would be an early Bird free agent if he opts out this summer, under the first calculation, the Knicks can offer him a starting salary of $4.9 million by using the 175 percent rule.
Under the second calculation, they could offer Smith 104.5 percent of whatever is the average player salary for the 2012-13 season, a number we won’t know until July 1, 2013, when the league’s finances for the previous season are fully accounted.
But for all intents and purposes, we can safely assume that the average player salary will end up being around $5.34 million. Under the second calculation, the Knicks could give Smith a starting salary of $5.58 million.
So, that’s it.
The most the Knicks can offer Smith in year one of a new deal would be $5.58 million.
Only a handful of teams have the cap room to beat what the Knicks could offer Smith in a contract but will a team be willing to trust him to live up to a big time deal.
I just don’t see that happening. This is all a formality at this point and not unexpected news. Smith earned the right to try out the free agent market and get what he can in this next contract.
He played very well for the regular season and seemed to really buy into what Mike Woodson was preaching. He has been clear in the past about wanting to stay in New York, including saying he wants to retire as a Knick after Game Six of the Pacers series.
I will be very surprised if Smith is not back with the team next season, but as last years off-season proved, anything can happen.