Knicks guard J.R. Smith was broke before signing with New York in February, ESPN reports.From Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York:
In fact, when Smith chose the Knicks over the Clippers in mid-February after coming back from China, a source said the Knicks’ higher offer ($2.443 million to the Clippers’ $1.4 million veteran’s minimum) was the deciding factor because he was financially broke. Therefore, Smith will likely opt out and ask for the 20 per cent raise.
Smith has made $25.6 million in salary since his entered the league in 2004. But he has developed a reputation as one of the league’s most unstable players, both on and off the court, in recent years.
We have no idea how dire Smith’s finances really were. But the fact that he was one of the handful of established NBA players who went to China during the lockout makes it look like he needed the cash.
But help is on the way for J.R. The Knicks can offer him ~$3 million for next season, and it seems likely that he’ll get at least that much on the open market.
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