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J.R. Smith has apparently worn out his New York City welcome.
ESPN’s latest NBA trade rumors suggest the the Knicks are actively shopping the NBA’s reigning Sixth Man of the Year award winner, albeit with very few would-be takers. Nonetheless, the Knicks’ thinking appears to be that all involved parties might be better served by embarking on new beginnings.
Smith’s latest caper ended with him being fined $50,000 by the league this week for what officials described as “recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct,” stemming from him untying the laces of Mavs forward Shawn Marion during a free throw attempt in last Sunday’s game.
Coach Mike Woodson’s growing frustrations appeared to boil over during an ESPN radio interview on Wednesday when he told Stephen A. Smith the sharpshooter’s conduct was “unacceptable.”
“I’m not happy about this, because he was warned, he comes back and he makes the same mistake, and it’s not right,” Woodson added. “It’s just got to stop. I keep saying this every time something pops up, but it’s got to stop.”
Perhaps sensing a changing tide, Smith took to Twitter later that evening and posted “huge apologies to my team, to the league and most of all you the fans.”
After signing Smith to a three-year, $18 million extension over the summer, the Knicks can’t trade the veteran swingman before until Jan. 15 per league rules. Smith’s scoring is down markedly from last season and he is shooting just 32.3 percent from the field after undergoing offseason knee surgery.
Overall, Smith has averaged just 11.3 points in 29 games this season, compared to last year when he averaged 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 80 games.
Smith has also previously been fined and suspended for violating the league’s anti-drug policy and just last November he was fined $25,000 for sending what league officials deemed a “hostile” tweet to Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings after Jennings questioned the credentials of Smith’s brother, Chris, a since waived Knicks guard.
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