Knicks signing J.R. Smith soon?

Mark J. Miller
Scoop Du Jour

The New York Knicks have been considered one of the favorites to snag J.R. Smith now that he's back from his adventures in China and the New York Times reports that the team may soon deliver on the possibility.

The word from the paper is that Smith and the Knicks are close to signing a deal "although some unspecified hurdles remain." The Times has it that Smith had narrowed his choices to the Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers.

While Smith is "a solid 3-point shooter who would provide depth at guard and small forward," the Times notes, "he is also known as a ball-stopper and a volatile personality who could erode the Knicks' newfound chemistry." That dichotomy has caused there to be some "disagreement among team officials on whether he is worth the risk," the paper reports.

Meanwhile, the New York Post has it that Smith will sign Friday and be in uniform for Sunday's game against the Dallas Mavericks. Before then, the Knicks will need to cut a player from the roster. The Post names Renaldo Balkman as the likeliest candidate.

Smith averaged 12.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 79 games for the Nuggets last year.

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