Miami won the first round matchup four games to one, and will go on to play the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Knicks will soon have to decide what players to bring back next year, and which ones to let walk as free agents.
One such player is J.R. Smith.
New York signed Smith to a two-year deal in February once his season in China was over. Smith played with the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls for the first few months of the NBA Season, after signing with them during the lockout.
Smith made $2.5 million this year with the Knicks, and is set to make about the same amount next season. The guard can opt out of the deal if he wants, and is expected to do so and try to make more money.
Smith played a big role with the Knicks since coming over from China, but indicated that he won't return to New York.
The guard played very poorly in the series with Miami. He shot just 3-15 in the finale, and had a plus-minus of minus 20. Smith was sent many negative tweets after his performance, and became extremely frustrated by the negative reaction from the fans.
Damn didn't know this man people didn't want me in #NY might just get what you asking for! #sorrykidz, tweeted Smith from his account, @TheRealJRSmith. Smith proceeded to retweet encouraging words from fans.
Smith was forced to a play a bigger role against the Heat than he had most of the season. The Knicks suffered multiple injuries in the backcourt during the postseason, and he took many of those minutes. He played 35 minutes in Game 5, after averaging 27.6 per contest for the regular season.
The Knicks are expected to try to bring Smith back on a new contract if he opts out of his current deal.