Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 5/15/12

J.R. Smith has until July 1 to decide if he would like to exercise his player option and remain with the Knicks next season. If he chooses to stay, his salary for the 2012-2013 season would be $2.443 million. Like many other professional athletes, Smith is said to be interested in going wherever he can earn the most money. The reason? He is reportedly having a tough time financially.

According to ESPNNewYork.com, Smith’s father Earl has been adamant about wanting his son to remain with the Knicks next season and take the guaranteed money. There is a chance he could earn more money if he opts out and resigns with New York or another team, but he may not be in a position to take that risk.

The report added that the only reason Smith chose to play for the Knicks when he returned from China was because he was “financially broke” at the time and they offered him the most money. The most likely scenario is that Smith opts out and asks New York for the 20 percent raise that is enabled by the Non-Bird Exception. The issue would then become whether or not the Knicks value his erratic shooting abilities enough to resign him for around $3 million.

Thanks to I Am a GM for passing the report along

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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