Free agent shooting guard J.R. Smith tweeted on Friday that he decided to sign with the New York Knicks.
New York Knicks It Is!
— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) February 17, 2012
Smith, who played in China during the lockout, became eligible to sign with a NBA team on Wednesday and quickly signed with the Knicks, who have become the feel good team of the NBA with Jeremy Lin. The Knicks are expected to cut reserve forward Renaldo Balkman in order to make room for Smith.
Smith is known for his long-range shooting ability and strong ball-handling skills, but also for suspect defense and a reputation as a rabble-rouser, according to the New York Post. His biggest benefit to the Knicks should be his ability to open up the paint for drives to the basket because of his three-point shooting threat.
Before playing in China, Smith flourished in Denver in a reserve role. He averaged 12.3 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, and 2.2 assists per game in 2010-11 with the Nuggets.
The addition of Smith gives the Knicks one of the deepest benches in the NBA, especially after the emergence of Lin. Smith isn't expected to steal Landry Field's starting spot, but should get a good amount of time alongside Iman Shumpert, Jared Jeffries, and some of the Knicks other reserves.