New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract, in which he is currently slated to earn $2.8 million.
Smith joined the team midway through last season after a stint in China during the lockout, signing a two-year, $5.7-million deal.
The most the Knicks can offer him is an "early Bird exception" starting at four years, $4.9 million per year, according to Botte.
From the report:
“I want to retire a Knick. I don’t want to go anywhere else,” Smith said. “I love my teammates, I love my coaches. I was standing in the locker room looking at my jersey after the game and just knowing that I don’t want to be anywhere else except in the orange and blue. We’ll see.”
Still, when asked if he’d be willing to take less money to remain in New York, Smith hedged and added, “I haven’t even thought about all that, that far. I still have to talk to (agent) Leon (Rose) and see where we’re at.”
After blossoming during the regular season -- averaging a career-high 18.1 points and winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award -- Smith struggled in the postseason, shooting 33.1 percent. His reported late-night partying throughout the playoffs caused controversy, and he even took the blame for the Knicks' second-round woes himself.