The Knicks believe odds are they will retain J.R. Smith, but it hardly is a guarantee considering the bevy of under-the-cap clubs and a weak free-agent class. The Bucks, Pistons and Suns are contemplating throwing money Smith’s way.
If you can’t get one free agent Smith who’s prone to taking bad shots, try for the other one, apparently.
Unlike Josh Smith, though, J.R. Smith doesn’t bring the all-around game (defense, rebounding, passing) that would command such a high salary. The Pistons could use another wing scorer, but Smith shot pretty inefficiently last season, and he doesn’t do much else.
Guessing how much it would take to get J.R. Smith, besting the non-taxpayer mid-level exceptions I’d think he could elsewhere, it’s at this point in free agency I’d take a mulligan and keep flexibility for the summer of 2014. But Joe Dumars’ contract will expire by then, and the Pistons traded a first-round pick just to unload Ben Gordon’s contract and get cap space a year early. I don’t think they’ll welcome a two-year plan as much as I would.