Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 7/4/13

J.R. Smith and the New York Knicks are hammering out a contract extension that will keep the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year with the team for another four years. The deal could be completed by Thursday, reports The New York Daily News. Smith is expected to receive the “Average Player Salary Exception” which could amount to $24 million over four seasons. According to the Daily News report,  the New York Knicks and Smith are finalizing a contract extension that will keep the shooting guard with the club until 2017. Smith's signing assures the Knicks of having their top five players under contract next season — Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler. Also, according to a basketball site in Argentina, the Knicks have offered Pablo Prigioni a two-year contract extension. A person who spoke to the 35-year-old free agent point guard on Wednesday told The News that Prigioni “hopes” a deal is completed “real soon.” Prigioni is a priority because Jason Kidd retired, leaving Felton as the team’s only point guard under contract. The 27-year-old Smith averaged a career-best 18.1 points last season in 80 games, all as a reserve, and it became the Knicks’ focus this summer to re-sign him. For months, Smith had said his desire was to return to the Knicks. The former New Jersey prep star also had two influential power brokers in his corner: Garden Chairman James Dolan and Anthony, who was also Smith’s teammate with the Denver Nuggets. Smith’s best season, however, ended on a down note. The troubled star slumped in the playoffs, averaging 14.3 points and shooting 27% on three-pointers. The Knicks’ postseason took an ugly turn when Smith was suspended one game for elbowing then-Celtic Jason Terry at the end of the Game 3 of their first-round series. Although the Knicks went on to defeat Boston in six games and capture their first playoff series win in 13 years, they went 3-6 in their last nine playoff games starting with Game 4 against the Celtics. Smith would be willing to sign elsewhere only if he received a lucrative contract that the Knicks, because of salary-cap restrictions, are unable to match. But the deal Smith would receive from the Knicks is comparable to what shooting guards are receiving this year.

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