J.R. Smith will not opt in with the New York Knicks, declining his player option of $2.9 million, a league source confirmed with .
Smith will officially announce the decision before June 30, making him an unrestricted free agent.
via New York Knicks’ J.R. Smith to decline player option, source says – ESPN New York.
No shocker, Smith, the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year, was dramatically underpaid last season. Smith reportedly is targeting a 4-year, $20 million-ish deal to return to the Knicks. If he shops himself out, he’ll get much higher offers. Don’t be surprised if he winds up returning to New York through his Bird Rights and turning down higher offers. He clearly loves playing with the Knicks and the freedom Mike Woodson has (foolishly) given him offensively.
But there will be offers, and if one is big enough, the money may be just too much for him to pass up. Hard to see his value ever being higher than it is right now, even after a nightmare postseason for him.