With J.R. Smith's Chinese basketball team missing the playoffs now, the three-point threat can now return to the NBA on February 15th. Smith has been garnering interest since the NBA lockout ended, with teams like the Clippers and Lakers that would love to have his services.

The 6'6'" shooting guard averaged twelve points and four rebounds last season in the NBA and is continuing to improve. But it looks like the New York Knicks could be the ones that could be in the lead for him, as they are badly in need of another shooter and to help out the bench more.

Says ESPN's Marc Stein:
"New York is still the closest thing to a consensus favorite to sign Smith to a rest-of-the-season contract worth $2.5 million when the rangy guard returns from China. Lots of teams are interested in Smith, including both the Clippers and Lakers, but the Knicks are starved for shooters and have more money and a bigger role to offer than most Smith suitors, which gives them an edge."
However, Brian Windhorst says otherwise as the Knicks do need a shooting guard, Smith isn't the one they need:
"Knicks were hot for Smith but now everything is thru Lin prism. They need another SG but do they need another chucker now?"
http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/jeremy-lin-gi.jpg?iact=hc&vpx=1119&vpy=125&dur=562&hovh=244&hovw=206&tx=155&ty=98&sig=107274903133486283097&ei=nx44T9yPBa_5sQKag-T9AQ&page=1&tbnh=136&tbnw=115&start=0&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:5,s:0For the Knicks, I don't think there really is another better shooting guard out there right now. He may be a chucker, but it's best they are going to get. It looks like they may end up getting him, because the Clippers and Lakers look like they could take advantage of the signing if they get him.

As for Jeremy Lin, it looks like the Knicks would love to keep him. However, with New York keeping him past the guaranteed contract deadline, the Harvard grad will become a restricted free agent this summer.

Says Howard Beck of the New York Times:
"After going undrafted in 2010, Lin signed a two-year deal with the Golden State Warriors. The second year conveyed the early-Bird rights and the restricted free agent status. Those rights would have disappeared had Lin become a free agent after the Warriors waived him in early December. But the Houston Rockets claimed Lin off of waivers, thus inheriting the early-Bird and restricted free agency status. The benefits transferred to the Knicks when they claimed Lin off waivers on Dec. 27, after Houston cut him."
The Knicks do have the right to match any offer that comes to Lin. They'll most likely end up keeping him, unless if some team throws a boatload of money to him.
Written by Josh Dhani, Founder (Archive/RSS)

Josh has been writing since January 2009 and founded FootBasket in April 2009. He also owns the websites, Hardcourt Mayhem and Gridiron Mayhem. For a full bio, check out JoshDhani.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoshDhani


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