J.R. Smith showed us something that perhaps most fans did not know—that he is loyal.
After averaging 12.5 points and close to four assists last season, J.R. Smith declined a $2.5 million player option.
Instead, he opted to re-sign with the New York Knicks to a two-year contract worth $2.8 million, with the last year being a player option. The new contract means he's making less, but sticking with the Knicks.
Smith was probably fielding other offers.
One can assume that if Landry Fields signed a three-year deal worth $20 million with the Toronto Raptors, and Jamal Crawford to a four-year deal worth $25 million with the LA Clippers, that J.R was entertaining offers above what he signed with the Knicks.
In re-signing J.R.Smith, the Knicks get a shooting guard that can space the floor and create his own shots.
At times, he has faulted. There have been complaints of over dribbling and poor shot selection, as well as groans from Knicks fan as they watch him fall for every LeBron James pump-fake in this year's playoffs.
However, when he has found his groove, he can undeniably compete with anyone in the NBA. At only 26-years-old, his potential is high and he has immense talent.
We can pretend that we never heard about Smith not going to any practices while playing in China. After all, he was the league's leading scorer. He has shown with the Knicks that he is willing to hustle, play defense and work hard.
Re-signing J.R. Smith for $2.8 million is an absolute steal, there is no other way to put it. With the lingering injury to Shumpert, Smith is expected to start at the SG position.
J.R. Smith's wild life and sometimes odd choices have in the past raised eyebrows; but this was a very smart choice by him.
On paper it may not seem that way financially, especially since he is now making less than what he did not only with the Knicks, but also in China.
However, after seeing Steve Novak get Bird rights and re-sign to a large contract, J.R wants the same treatment.
Expect the last year of his recently signed contract to also be declined, and Smith re-signed again next year for a longer term contract at just below maximum.
Welcome back J.R.