Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/26/12
J.R. Smith has declined his $2.4 million option with the New York Knicks, the Newark Star-Ledger reported Tuesday, and that means he can either re-sign with the Knicks for a 20-percent raise or become a free agent. Smith averaged 12.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per games after joining the Knicks this season following a stint in China. Smith has said he would like to stay with the Knicks, but he has several options. One possibility is for Smith to sign for one year with the Knicks for about $2.8 million, then become a free agent. He would then earn a minimum of $5.3 million in 2013-2014, because of his early-Bird rights. A player with so-called early-Bird rights is eligible for a salary starting at the league average, about $5.3 million. A player with full Bird rights can sign for up to the maximum salary. The early-Bird rights apply to players who played for the team for some or all of each of the prior two seasons.
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