John Starks, J.R. Smith

Report: J.R. Smith won’t pick up player option to return to Knicks, but team wants him back

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As expected, J.R. Smith will not be picking up his player option for next season, which will make him an unrestricted free agent.

That doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be back with the Knicks; it just won’t be for only one year at $2.9 million.

From Al Innazzone of Newsday:

J.R. Smith will not pick up his $2.9-million option for the 2013-14 season, a person close to the valuable reserve said.

The deadline for Smith to inform the Knicks whether he will opt in is Tuesday. The Knicks weren’t expecting Smith to opt in after putting up career highs of 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds and winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award this past season. Smith struggled in the playoffs, but the Knicks’ plan is to try to keep him.

If Smith wants to stay in New York, he’ll likely have to take less money than he could command on the open market to do so.

The Knicks can only offer Smith around $5 million per year for at least two seasons, and teams could offer him a bigger role in the offense along with a longer-term deal to try to get him to jump.

But Smith has a strong relationship with Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, and enjoys playing in New York City — perhaps even a bit too much.

We’ve seen Smith be devastating offensively plenty over the course of his career, but last season (despite his playoff slump) was by far his most consistent. Teams will pay for that, and just how much will certainly be a factor in Smith’s free agent decision.

Stephen Curry dumps ice on mid-interview Klay Thompson, who says ‘I’m still hot’ (video)

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Klay Thompson scored an incredible 60 points in 29 minutes.

So, what did Stephen Curry do? Dump ice on his Warriors teammate during the post-game interview, of course.

That didn’t cool down Thompson, who’s probably still hot this morning.

Marc Gasol’s step-back 3-pointer sends Grizzlies to overtime, where they down Pelicans (video)

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Marc Gasol has turned himself into a bona fide 3-point shooter, and his latest triple came when the Grizzlies needed it most.

Gasol’s 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter tied last night’s game against the Pelicans.

Then, Troy Daniels hit a 3-pointer to tie the game in overtime:

Memphis went onto win 110-108 in double overtime behind 28 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, two blocks and two steals from Gasol.

The Grizzlies have won three straight without Mike Conley (or Chandler Parsons), the victories coming by a combined six points

Celtics’ Al Horford blows game-winning layup against Rockets (video)

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The Celtics couldn’t have asked for a much better look on their final possession, but Al Horford missed this layup to give the Rockets a 107-106 win last night.

Maybe Isaiah Thomas should have gone to the line for getting pushed over by Montrezl Harrell, but I’m not 100% sure Harrell should’ve been called for a foul. Besides, that Thomas screen sprung Horford for the layup. I’d take my chances with that barely contested close-range shot.

Michael Beasley, Davis Bertans ejected from Bucks/Spurs for being third/fourth into altercation

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This should have been the usual NBA altercation — two guys jawing with nothing physical happening because teammates step in, everyone does their posturing, and we move along. Monday night in the Spurs eventual win over the Bucks, Greg Monroe and Dewayne Dedmon got tangled up going for a rebound, Dedmon threw a little elbow, Monroe pushed him off, and the two started the well choreographed NBA dance.

Then San Antonio’s Davis Bertans came in and shoved Monroe.

Followed by Milwaukee’s Michael Beasley coming in and shoved Bertans.

Both Beasley and Bertans were ejected for escalating the situation, and you can expect the league will hit both with a fine for being the third/fourth men in.