Report: The Knicks are nearing a deal for J.R. Smith.

Moving to this back to the top of the page, but scroll down if you want to hear me on the radio today for some reason. -Seth

So, this is nowhere close to a done deal, but the report is in. Here's Frank Isola (the only reporter on this one so far):

Knicks closing in on a deal for JR Smith, Daily News has learned. Need to cut a player. Two weeks earlier and it could have been Jeremy Lin

Okay. Now, I'm going to wait for something to actually take place before I worry too much about this, but some initial thoughts:

- Mike Bibby would almost definitely be the one to get cut.

- J.R. Smith frightens me. The second unit could always use more scoring, and he sure can score, but the guy is prone to some seriously dumb shit. Maybe the stint in China subdued his whole heaving-reckless-threes-and-making-creepy-faces thing? Maybe he'll play his best under D'Antoni or alongside Jeremy Lin? I don't know.

- I am instinctively terrified of tinkering at all with a good thing. Maybe Bibby was Lin's spiritual advisor or something!!!

- As I've mentioned before, signing Smith would mean that every single player who got suspended following the Knicks-Nuggets brawl in 2006 will have at some point been a member of the Knicks. So, in that sense, this move was bound to happen.

- One nice way to think of it: Before, Mike Bibby was the guard who came off the bench and tried to hit open threes. If this deal happens, J.R. Smith will be the guy to come off the bench and try to hit open threes. That's an improvement. (Update: As stingy d just said in the comments, you could use the same logic regarding Bill Walker. Smith does essentially the same stuff as Walker, just better and more obnoxiously.)

So, yeah. This still hasn't actually happened (and a couple hundred words later, there's still nobody else reporting this), but the prospects of adding Smith are what they always were: He's incredibly talented and could fill a need, but he comes with a history of bad habits on and off the court. We'll see what happens.

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