Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Knicks signed J.R. Smith to three-year deal — not four as reported

The revelation about J.R. Smith's knee surgery on Monday had a lot of people wondering where the New York Knicks' school of thought was.

The team reportedly knew their Sixth Man of the Year needed surgery in May, got it done in July, needs four months of rehab and the season begins in October.

Did the Knicks hide the shooting guard's injury during his free-agency or were they kept in the dark?

Next time, do the math.

Now another little fib by the Knicks has leaked out via The New York Times and it also has to do with basic mathematics and defies logic.

Maybe the Knicks didn't necessarily lie about the length of J.R. Smith's new deal—originally reported to be for four years at $24.5 million with a player option for the 2016-2017 season—but they certainly didn't correct the misconception.

The precise terms were confirmed Tuesday by a rival team executive and a second person with access to the contract. Despite the intense scrutiny of the deal, Knicks General Manager Glen Grunwald made no attempt to correct the erroneous reports during a 16-minute conference call with reporters Tuesday.
The contract calls for Smith to make $5.57 million next season and $5.98 million in 2014-15, with a third-year player option at $6.4 million. It is still a considerable commitment for a player with a checkered career and now a surgically repaired left knee. But Grunwald betrayed no concern on Tuesday. 
Grunwald initially danced around the issue of Smith's timing for Monday's knee surgery. Because the rehab is expected to take between 12 and 16 weeks, the beginning of Smith's 2013-2014 season is now up in the air.
Ultimately Grunwald conceded that it was Smith's decision (a player cannot be forced by a team to have surgery) and once it was determined that his left knee wasn't responding to rest, both Smith and the Knicks opted for surgery.
Obviously Smith's decision was complicated by his status as a free agent (he opted out of his previous contract).
In any case, Monday's surgery to repair his patella tendon and to correct a tear in the lateral meniscus in Smith's left knee was deemed successful and Grunwald insists he does not regret the decision to re-sign the troubling Smith.

Summer school is now in session.

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