JR Smith declining his player option with the Knicks

Well Knicks fans, loos like JR Smith is declining his $2.4 million player option on his contract with the team. Smith would love to return to the Knicks, just with a few more coins in his wallet.

Smith’s option for next season is worth $2.4 million. As a free agent, he would be eligible for a 20 percent raise, to about $2.8 million, and he could earn up to $12.2 million over four years (including 4.5 percent raises). Alternatively, Smith could re-sign for one year, earn his “early-Bird” rights and qualify for a salary of at least $5.3 million in 2013-14. Either way, opting out makes financial sense for Smith, a 26-year-old swingman.

The danger of course is that another team could swoop in and offer Smith their midlevel exemption. You have to think the Knicks have the advantage however. He’s from Jersey so being close to home is a plus – unless the Nets decide to pursue him.

Smith’s play was erratic this season but you can’t deny the spark he creates off the bench and when he’s feeling it, he can score in buckets. He was the Knicks third leading scorer in the playoffs.