While they realize it may be difficult to pursue, the New York Knicks have begun to explore the potential trade market for guard J.R. Smith in recent days, ESPN.com has learned.
Sources close to the situation said Wednesday that the organization has become increasingly frustrated with Smith's on and off-court transgressions and increasingly feel that a fresh start might be best for all parties.
I can understand why the Knicks would not want to have J.R. Smith around anymore. I suspect they'll find that other teams would also prefer to not have J.R. Smith around. The value of a (on one hand) recent Sixth Man of the Year with undeniable, versatile talent and (on the other hand) a new contract, a recently repaired and still troublesome left knee, a list of recent transgressions that includes a drug-related related suspension and several (relatively petty) fines, and a list of past transgressions that's far more off-putting, playing far and away the worst season of his career, can't be very high. And we're talking about a guy who received no reported offers from any other team in either of his last two free agency summers, so perhaps his value around the league wasn't that high to begin with.
So, yeah, it'll be difficult, even if the Knicks are willing to accept, like, a protected second-rounder or a Gameboy Color with a busted screen or an olive in return. Or even a bad contract. I'm glad they realize that, assuming this report is accurate. Note that the Knicks can't trade J.R. until January 15 because of rules. And probably never, because of sense.
Knicks trying to scare J.R. Smith straight with public, but empty trade talk. Of course, they understand there's no market for him.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 9, 2014