NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 25: Renaldo Balkman #44 of the New York Knicks controls the ball during the second half against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden on December 25, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
Well, we await an actual transaction, but Tommy Dee of TKB has word that the Knicks, unable to open up a roster spot with a trade for a pick, will make a cut in order to sign J.R. Smith (which is definitely happening, by the way).
Sources close to the situation have told TKB that in order to make room for the signing of guard J.R. Smith the team will indeed release Renaldo Balkman after failing to complete trades for existing players on the roster including Balkman, , and Toney Douglas.
A cut of Balkman would be interesting and unexpected because 1. He is the best player on the Knicks and everybody knows that. 2. He's actually the fourth-highest paid player on the team and is guaranteed money next year. Tommy explains that Mike Bibby will be spared because he is technically a point guard and the Knicks are short on those (though, honestly, Smith is more of a point guard than Bibby at this point). Damn shame.
That said, Humpty hardly played, so this would be a move in which a rotation player is added without subtracting one, which is usually a good thing. I'll update (and save my tearful farewell to Humpty for) whenever this actually goes down.