J.R. Smith will decline player option with Knicks

J.R. Smith will decline his player option of $2.9 million with the New York Knicks, according to ESPNNewYork.com.

“Smith will officially announce the decision before June 30, making him an unrestricted free agent.

“It was reported by the New York Post last month that Smith was “expected” to opt out. The Knicks can re-sign Smith for $4.9 million using the Early Bird exception, with standard raises over four years.”

Smith averaged 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 33 minutes per game of the bench this season, his best numbers in his nine-year NBA career.  He helped lead the Knicks to 54 wins, but struggled in the postseason, averaging 14.3 points per game.

An ESPN league source said Smith is “likely” to re-sign with the Knicks in free agency, which begins July 1.  Smith will likely want to continue playing with Carmelo Anthony and play for coach Mike Woodson, who helped the 27-year-old win the 2013 Sixth Man Award.

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