In this 2012 free-agency class J.R. Smith has the ultimate freedom as an unrestricted free-agent while Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields are restricted free-agents. Meaning, the Knicks have some control in dictating whether or not Lin and Fields return, while the future of Smith is entirely up to him.
Nevertheless, the Knicks should make an effort to re-sign all of these players if their other plans fail. Although the team was ousted in the first round of the playoffs, the team wasn’t 100% healthy and it never had a true training camp. Who knows what the 2011-12 squad could have accomplished if it was at full strength.
Smith added incredible shooting and scoring to the Knicks bench; he could create his own shot and often times carried the team to victories.
As for Lin, he took over the sports world with his amazing “Linsanity.” Lin proved that he could bring together the Knicks during rough times, but struggled when Stoudemire and Anthony returned to the floor. He no doubt earned respect from his teammates and it would only be right to re-sign him and give him a chance to run the Knicks with a healthy knee.
Fields is one of the best young players in the NBA and there is a reason the Knicks did not want to give him up in the Anthony trade. Fields is a mature player who can do nearly everything on the court. Although he went through times when Anthony became a Knick, the front-office cannot let a talent like him go away.
Next: Number One