HoopsHype JR Smith rumors

January 15, 2014 Updates

J.R. Smith was bellyaching on the bench to his Knicks teammates about not playing during Monday’s overtime session against the Suns, according to an eyewitness. It is unclear whether his displeasure resulted in coach Mike Woodson not playing Smith on Tuesday in Charlotte, but he was vocal on the bench about playing just 45 seconds of the 5-minute overtime as the Knicks pulled out the 98-96 victory. New York Post

Smith also had a run-in with Knicks coach Mike Woodson on Monday after he expressed frustration with his playing time in overtime of the Knicks' win over the Phoenix Suns, sources confirmed. Sources say Smith expressed his frustration with Woodson during the game and the two had a brief, heated discussion over Smith's displeasure shortly after the game. Smith's tardiness on Tuesday and his frustration with playing just 45 seconds in overtime likely led to Woodson benching him on Tuesday night against Charlotte. ESPN.com

Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com last week that the Knicks had become increasingly frustrated with Smith's on- and off-court transgressions and have begun exploring the potential trade market for him, though they realize it will be difficult to move him. Since Smith signed a contract for more than 120 percent of his 2012-13 salary and the Knicks are over the salary cap, Wednesday was the first day he was eligible to be traded, due to a rule in the collective bargaining agreement. Woodson was asked about the possibility that Smith could be traded during his interview on Wednesday with Smith and Ruocco. ESPN.com

Woodson declined comment late Tuesday as to why Smith was benched. It was the second time in four games where Woodson benched Smith, who was fined $50,000 last week by the NBA for unsportsmanlike behavior. Acording to the same source, Smith and Woodson spoke briefly immediately after Tuesday’s game and both appeared upset. New York Daily News

It is unclear if Smith will play in Thursday’s nationally televised game against the Pacers in Indiana. After Tuesday’s game Smith continued to say he’s not sure if his future is in New York. Smith, the NBA’s 6th man of the year in 2013-13, signed a 3-year, $18 million deal with the club last July and became eligible to be traded on Wednesday. The Knicks have explored trading the veteran shooting guard, but his contract and the fact that he’s coming off knee surgery make it difficult for them to complete a transaction. New York Daily News

Wednesday is the first day Smith can be traded under a quirk in the NBA bylaws for 2013 free agents, but a despondent Smith had his bags packed for Indiana and flew with the club. His future, however, is in question as a viable member of the team after being benched for the second time in four games. Smith, who ticked off the organization and the NBA for untying the sneakers of the Mavericks’ Shawn Marion and allegedly attempting the same trick against the Pistons’ Greg Monroe the next game, said he had no idea what the latest benching was about, saying there was no new incident to inflame the situation. New York Post

January 14, 2014 Updates

Someone’s minutes are bound to be slashed – and perhaps altogether - as injured and ill Knicks continue to return to the lineup. J.R. Smith was that someone Mike Woodson once again elected to sit on Tuesday night. The Knicks didn’t claim Smith was sick or injured before the game, but the reigning Sixth Man Award winner wasn’t used at all despite a sluggish shooting start for leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, who came on late and managed 20 points on 9-for-22 shooting. New York Daily News

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