NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The situation has become untenable.
According to a report on CBSSports.com, the Knicks started looking into trading troublesome guard J.R. Smith as much as two weeks ago.
That was in the midst of his shooting woes, but before a recent embarrassing episode that left the Knicks red-faced and Smith $50,000 lighter in the wallet.
Smith landed himself in coach Mike Woodson’s doghouse by ignoring a league warning and attempting to repeat the hoax of unlacing an opponent’s shoes during a game, CBSSports reported. Smith successfully untied Shawn Marion’s shoe during a 92-80 victory over Dallas on Sunday and received a warning from the league. In an 89-85 victory over Detroit on Tuesday night, Smith attempted the same trick on Greg Monroe — unsuccessfully, but it was enough to draw the big fine from the NBA.
Rod Thorn, the NBA’s director of basketball operations, referred to Smith’s behavior as “recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct.”
The Knicks have likely lived in regret since giving Smith a three-year, nearly $18 million contract extension during the offseason. He’s been brutal this season, struggling with injuries and inconsistency — not to mention bouts with the organization over his professionalism stemming from the Knicks cutting his younger brother, Chris Smith, to create a roster spot for Jeremy Tyler.
J.R. Smith was a revelation last season, being named Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 18.3 points as a fine second option for the Knicks next to Carmelo Anthony. However, the 28-year-old shooting guard is shooting less than 35 percent from the floor and averaging just 11.3 points per game this season.
The Knicks entered play Wednesday 12-22 and are in dire need of some kind of personnel shake-up. Smith’s refusal to get with the program has contributed to the front office’s struggles to move him, CBSSports.com reported.
“I hear Shanghai has a spot,” one rival GM said Wednesday when polled about potential takers for Smith.
Another executive, when asked about teams that might be interested, texted, “Erie?” the website reported.
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