Clippers point guard Chris Paul played with Smith for two seasons on the New Orleans Hornets and he’s now “taken a lead role in recruiting Smith,” the source tells the site. The pair also share an agent, Leon Rose, ESPN points out.
The site notes that the New York Knicks “are the presumed favorite to land Smith because they can offer him both a large role on the team, and their pro-rated $2.5 million mini mid-level exception.” If Smith ends up there, he’d be reuniting with Carmelo Anthony, who he played with while they both were employed by the Denver Nuggets.
We’ve been on this story from jump and a source confirmed with me yesterday that Smith to the Knicks is still indeed “likely” because both sides want each other and understand the benefits of the situation stated above.
The only way Smith doesn’t end up in NY, I’m told, would be because the Knicks are leery injecting Smith could disrupt existing chemistry that has just started to form and is in its infancy. We’ve seen over the past 7-10 days how important team chemistry is in this league.
But I’m also told the front office still understands the need for a backcourt three point threat, which is why the Smith signing would appear immanent.