Beyond J.R. Smith, the Knicks have a bunch of other role players they'd love to have back, headlined by Kenyon Martin, Chris Copeland and Pablo Prigioni.
In his exit interview via knicksnow.com, Martin made it clear that he loved his time in New York and seems open to the idea of returning as a way of paying the franchise back for taking a chance on him midseason.
Using the non-Bird exception, the Knicks can offer Martin a maximum salary of around $1.7 million. He can probably make more on the open market, but the Knicks are free to offer him part of their $3 million taxpayers' exception to make a return more enticing.
Like Martin, Copeland also seemed keen on returning in his exit interview via knicksnow.com, telling reporters that loyalty means more to him than money. Cope went through a lot to get to the NBA, and he won't soon forget that this was the only team to give him an opportunity in the show.
Copeland is a restricted free agent, and as a second-year player can be offered a maximum of $1 million under the non-Bird exception. Because he wasn't drafted by the Knicks, however, he isn't bound by contract to return to the team like most rookies are.
Prigioni started for New York in the playoffs, but it's shaping up to be much more difficult to bring him back. According to the New York Post, he wants to return to the NBA but was disappointed with his salary last season.
Whether it means joining another NBA team or returning to Spain, Prigioni may want more than $1 million, which puts the Knicks in a difficult spot.
Sure, they'd love to have him back, but maybe not if they're forced to use part of the taxpayers' exception. It really depends on whether or not they'll be able to pick up another quality guard in the draft or free agency.
If Martin, Copeland and Prigioni receive significant offers from other teams in free agency, New York may be forced to use up the entire mid-level exception on bringing them back. That will make the offseason a lot tougher, but given that they all have major roles in the rotation, it may be worth it.
Outside of these four, there are no other pressing free agents New York needs to re-sign, but guys like Earl Barron and Quentin Richardson will be there as a last resort.