J.R. Smith is returning to the Big Apple for at least one more season.
J.R. Smith done seeking offers and has accepted #Knicks 20-percent bump to $2.8M. Second year is player option.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) July 10, 2012
Smith, who spent most of the 2011 season with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls in China, made a prorated portion of a $2.5 million contract when he returned to the United States and joined the Knickerbockers.
Now, after putting up 12.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from beyond the arc in 35 regular season games, Smith is going to get a 20 percent raise and some job security via a player option for the 2013-14 season.
The 6’6”, 220-pound New Jersey native was an integral part of the Knicks bench—which was nicknamed Mob Deep—and obviously the organization is looking to keep that core together.
New York is also going to be making a strong push to retain emergent point guard Jeremy Lin and have already re-signed three-point specialist Steve Novak. It also added veteran center Marcus Camby to the roster to give depth behind the incumbent Defensive Player of the Year, Tyson Chandler.
This stability on the roster, plus the removal of the interim tag from head coach Mike Woodson’s title, should lead to an improved record, as the Knicks were only 36-30 in the lockout shortened season and earned the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Expect the Knicks to make big strides in the 2012-13 season, and re-signing J.R. Smith is definitely going to play a role in that resurgence.
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