Boston Celtics v New York Knicks - Game Five

J.R. Smith admits delaying knee surgery until after he signed new contract with Knicks


J.R. Smith took home the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award last season, and was an important piece to a Knicks team that finished the season with the second best record in the East, behind only the defending champion Miami Heat.

But he hasn’t exactly been doing things to ingratiate himself to the fan base ever since.

Smith opted out of the final year of his contract with New York, and briefly explored free agency before signing a three-year deal worth $18 million to stay with the Knicks.

Just a week later, he underwent knee surgery, and said that the decision to wait on the medical procedure until after his new contract was signed was completely by design.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

J.R. Smith said he delayed having surgery on his knee until after he signed his contract with the New York Knicks because it “made more sense for my family.”

“For one, I’m a father and I have two young children to look after,” Smith said Monday. “It made more sense for my family to get a deal done before [surgery].”

Smith had surgery on his left knee a week after signing a three-year, $18 million contract with the Knicks. If he’d had surgery earlier in the summer, Smith might have been healthy enough to play in training camp. If he’d had surgery earlier in the summer, though, it might have impacted his value as a free agent.

Smith was also suspended five games for violating the league’s drug policy, something he apologized for but will impact the team that committed financially to him nonetheless.

It’s weird how fans tend to side with the organization on issues like these — after all, if the Knicks are your favorite team and one of their important players engaged in some underhanded dealing to secure a contract, you’re upset that the team was technically taken advantage of.

But looking at it from Smith’s position, the reality is that most people would be hard-pressed to have handled things any differently.

Report: Mavericks may be team interested in Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders
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The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a center— desperately at times, they brought JaVale McGee into training camp to get a look. They will start Zaza Pachulia and behind him it’s probably Samuel Dalembert once he gets healthy.

Which is why Dallas may be the team interested in Larry Sanders — Mark Cuban is a guy known for giving second chances in the league. But there have been no talks, yet, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.

Larry Sanders has been out of the game since his buyout last February trying to deal with his personal demons and may well not be ready to return. He may never return.

His couple seasons with the Bucks were filled with drama and issues. There was the nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. There was a five-game drug suspension. There was missed time for personal reasons. There was the 10-game suspension for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there) — then that suspension was extended past the 10 games. In the end, he agreed to a buyout to get space away from the game to deal with his personal issues.

He may or may not be ready to return from that. He may or may not ever be ready. But if he decides to give it a try, NBA teams will be waiting. Maybe Dallas.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Can Thunder win 60 games?

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Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka are healthy — just how good will the Thunder be?

The bold prediction in this PBT Extra preview with Jenna Corrado is that the Thunder will win 60 games, something they have not yet done. I wouldn’t bet on them hitting that number — with a new coach, and them making sure Durant and Westbrook get rest coming off injuries, plus the fact they’re in the deep West, that number may be high.

I think they have a better chance to come out of the West than win 60 games. I think they have a good shot to come out of the West.