Even as New York Knicks trade rumors evolve around the acquisitions of both Marcus Camby (from the Houston Rockets) and Jason Kidd (from the Dallas Mavericks), the team is active in free agency. According to ESPN, that includes re-signing J.R. Smith to another contract.
Last season, Smith joined the Knicks after spending the NBA lockout playing in China. He only ended up playing 35 games for the team, but he was invaluable coming off the bench. In those games, Smith averaged 12.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
It's not an exaggeration to state that Smith was one of the reasons that the Knicks made it into the 2012 NBA Playoffs and re-signing him is an important step to the team returning to the postseason. All of the details of the new deal haven't been revealed yet, but it is a two-year contract, paying Smith a salary of $2.8 million each season.
Smith and his agent made a smart move by attaching a player option to the second year, much like his contact with the team last year. This would allow Smith to opt out of the deal after next season and then re-sign again for an amount that exceeds the salary cap.
Even with the minor acquisitions that the Knicks are working on this offseason, re-signing J.R. Smith may have been one of the most important steps.
Do you think that J.R. Smith could play even better for the New York Knicks next year? Do you think all of the Knicks trade rumors could lead to another veteran or two on the bench?