Having picked up J.R. Smith on a one-year deal following the completion of his season in the Chinese Basketball Association, one of the biggest questions for the New York Knicks this offseason was whether or not Smith would choose to accept his player option to keep him in New York for a second season.
As Howard Beck of the New York Times reports, Smith has decided to decline his player option but intends to re-sign with the Knicks long-term.
If Smith does as expected and follows through with his plan to stay with the Knicks, he has himself two options contract-wise.
First, Smtih could decide to sign a one-year deal worth 20 percent of what he was slated to earn this coming season ($2.8 million in total, which wouldn't count against the mid-level exception), and could then re-sign with the team long-term for a value closer to $5 million-per-year prior to the 2013-14 season, by which time the Knicks will have his early-Bird rights.
Alternatively, Smith could choose to sign his long-term contract now, giving him the chance to earn a total of $12.2 million over the duration of a four-year contract.
Whichever route Smith chooses to take, the Knicks should be happy to have him back for the long-haul, and I'm going to take you through eight reasons why.