Thursday June 7th, 2012

J.R. Smith Smith has 20 days to decide whether he will return to the Knicks next season. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Guard J.R. Smith, who gave the New York Knicks a boost when he signed with the club upon returning from China, has until June 26 to decide whether to exercise a player option to return to the team this fall for $2.44 million.

A New Jersey native, Smith told Al Iannazzone of the Newark Star-Ledger that he loves being so close to home. But if Smith elects to become a free agent, the most the Knicks could offer him is $2.8 million, and he could possibly make $5 million or more elsewhere -- although he says that $$$ are not foremost on his mind. "I want to be here so I'm not really putting too much emphasis on it," he said. "I got money now. It's all about winning, and whatever is the best situation and the best fit really. If all things are equal, I'm staying."

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