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J.R. Smith to Knicks: New York Signs Star SG to 4-Year Deal

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J.R. Smith to Knicks: New York  Signs Star SG to 4-Year Deal
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

J.R. Smith, one of the more intriguing scorers on the open market, has signed a new contract with the New York Knicks, according to Jonah Ballow of NYKnicks.com.

Marc Berman of the New York Post first reported the story. 

Howard Beck of the New York Times provides us with a bit more insight into the deal: 

Smith is fresh off his breakout year with the New York Knicks, as the 6’6” swingman averaged 18.1 points on 42.2 percent field-goal shooting and 35.6 percent three-point shooting. He also contributed 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.5 minutes per game.

The New Jersey native participated in 80 contests, coming off the bench in all of them.

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After winning the Sixth Man of the Year award for his efforts, Smith elected to decline his $2.9 million player option for the upcoming season. He felt he was worth more, but his poor showing in the postseason may have scared a few suitors away.

In 11 games, Smith averaged just 14.3 points on 33.1 percent field-goal shooting and 27.3 percent three-point shooting. It was an ugly affair and left many wondering whether the 27-year-old was truly committed to winning a championship.

Regardless of his playoff woes, it seems Smith made the right call to decline his option. He’s now making significantly more with the Knicks and is financially secure with guaranteed income for the next four years.

Prior to signing with New York, the relentless gunner also spent time with the Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Hornets. He was selected by the latter in the 2004 draft, getting picked 18th overall out of high school.

USA TODAY Sports

Although it took him a few years to get it all together, Smith eventually became a force to be reckoned with coming off the bench in Denver. He teamed with Carmelo Anthony—who he would eventually rejoin forces with in the Big Apple—to form a high-scoring nucleus that made a run to the 2009 Western Conference finals.

Expect to see Smith make plenty more highlight-reel and head-scratching plays over the next four years in New York. With marked improvements on both ends of the floor last season, though, the star sixth man should continue to be a key contributor to the Knicks' ascent in the Eastern Conference. 

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