NBA Roundtable

Knicks Sign JR Smith

In Free Agency on February 19, 2012 at 5:56 am

ESPN reports

Shooting guard J.R. Smith tweeted Friday that he has decided to join Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and phenom Jeremy Lin in New York, a move the team officially announced Friday night.

“New York Knicks It Is!” he posted on his Twitter account.

On the finances and clearing a roster spot to sign Smith

Contract terms were not available, but the Knicks were able to offer Smith a pro-rated share of their $2.5 million mini mid-level exception and a player option for a second year.

“We just felt that it was an opportunity to acquire a very good basketball player and to help us in a way that I think we’re in need of,” interim general manager Glen Grunwald said. “He’s a talented offensive player, shoot the ball, he can get to the rim, he can run the floor, so we just felt it was the right fit for what sort of we’d be facing the rest of this year.”

To clear a roster spot for Smith, the Knicks released seldom-used forward Renaldo Balkman.

Excellent signing for the New York Knicks.

JR Smith is one of the best backup shooting guards in the NBA and is a bargain at $2.5 million. He will surely opt out of that contract next summer and seek a better deal though.

Adding JR Smith will strengthen the Knicks bench considerably as it will replace one of the weakest backup wings receiving regular minutes in the league in Bill Walker and replace him with one of the best. With Baron Davis returning also, the Knicks should receive a nice upgrade at backup PG too giving them nice depth on the perimeter. They also have Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert as third string options.

Renaldo Balkman is a useful player who should attract plenty of attention as a free agent. Quality defender/rebounder at the small forward position.

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