Coming off a second straight atrocious postseason with the Knicks, J.R. Smith nonetheless must be confident about his prospects on the open market.
Smith reportedly will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, hoping his reputation as the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year overshadows his underwhelming play in the playoffs.
Smith will not opt in for the final season of his contract with New York, ESPN.com reports. He has a player option for $2.9 million and can re-sign with the Knicks for $4.9 million using the Early Bird exception, according to ESPN, a scenario one source called “likely.” He is expected to formally announce his decision June 30.
Smith had an outstanding regular season, averaging 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 80 games coming off the bench. He was a dud in the postseason, though, shooting just 33 percent from the field and finishing the Knicks’ 11-game playoff run by missing 83 of his last 117 shots. A year ago, he shot only 32 percent from the field in five playoff games.