Apr 5, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) and small forward Steve Novak (16) celebrate in front of Orlando Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick (7) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE
A number of you stayed up later than I did and caught this news when it broke, but I'm just waking up to it: As was announced around 1 o'clock this morning (and posted by Strong Island and tkow. Thanks, y'all.), J.R. Smith has decided to re-sign with the Knicks. The deal pays Earl $2.8 million this season (the most the Knicks could pay him) with a player option in 2013-2014. In flawless J.R. Smith fashion, Earl released this statement via CAA (via Marc Berman):
"I just felt that, despite my other options, New York is the best situation for me. Coach Woodson showed a lot of faith and trust in me last season, as did Mr. Dolan and the organization. My teammates are great to play with and the New York fans are the best!"
An official statement released in the middle of the night that includes an exclamation point and the phrase "I just felt that" is one of several reasons why I'm thrilled to have J.R. back. Deciding to sign just hours after Steve Novak re-upped-- thus reforming one of the most wonderful bro tandems of all time-- is another reason. Having all that back pleases me to no end, but I guess I should be happiest that the Knicks now have a decent, healthy shooting guard on the opening day roster. Assuming Iman Shumpert isn't Wolverine (not an assumption I'm comfortable making) and that the Knicks won't match Toronto's offer sheet for Landry Fields, Smith would appear to be the Knicks' starting shooting guard. Let us hope for plenty of Good J.R. (accurate, timely shooting and contributions as a passer, defender, and rebounder) and minimal bad J.R. (you know) from that spot. We're gonna get a bit of both, but it's the right ratio that counts.
Meanwhile, if Marcus Camby wants his old number back, then it appears we're going to have a bit of a battle for Toney Douglas's recently vacated uniform (well, a bigger version of it). We'll see if Camby steps up to contest Earl's demands. If he does, he probably gets priority as a former wearer, right? I'd think so. (Update: Nevermind. J.R.'s rightfully conceding that battle. He says he wants number 4. Assuming the Knicks don't plan to re-sign Scott Brooks-- not an assumption I'm comfortable making at this point-- he can have it.)
More on where the Knicks stand now in a little bit...