Happy Fourth of July, Knicks fans.
We told you yesterday the two sides were getting close, now multiple reports and word from his agent confirm that the Knicks and J.R. Smith have agreed to terms on a new deal that will keep the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year racking up points for the Knicks next season and beyond.
Smith should be happy because his salary just more than doubled.
That salary is the max the Knicks could offer having Smith’s Early Bird rights (it starts at 104 percent of the league average salary, or about $5.4 million next season, then goes up with raises from there). Four years for a player who turns 28 before next season should not be a big issue.
This is a signing the Knicks needed, Smith is a key part of their success and they would have had a hard time replacing his production. Smith, 27, was the second leading scorer on the Knicks averaging 18.2 points a game and shot 42.2 percent overall, 35.6 percent from three. Smith can be frustrating because he takes a lot of bad, contested jump shots, the thing is he makes more of those than he should. On the nights those shots are falling he lights up Madison Square Garden.
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.