The fact that the New York Knicks think that Chris Smith is a legitimate NBA prospect isn’t just a joke among Knicks’ fans, it appears to be a joke around the NBA.
One that the league apparently doesn’t think is very funny.July 17, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks player Chris Smith (44) looks to pass the ball against the Denver Nuggets in the first half of the game at Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
According to the New York Post‘s Marc Berman, the NBA launched an investigation of their decision to keep the younger Smith on their roster, but nothing came of the investigation.
When the undrafted Chris Smith changed agents to J.R.’s rep, Leon Rose, last spring, some in the league saw it as a “package deal.’’
But, according to a league official, the league decided Chris Smith was enough of a bona fide NBA prospect to justify the club keeping him.
“Chris has enough talent,’’ the official told The Post. “He could become an NBA player one day. Some teams do keep projects instead of players who can help right away, and Chris is one of those projects.”
Despite one general manager calling Smith “maybe the worst player in the history of the [NBA] summer league,” Smith is on his second guaranteed contract with the Knicks.
Even Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said during training camp that Smith had a better chance of making the roster because of his brother J.R. Smith.
Calling the whole process involving Chris Smith suspicious would be putting it mildly.
While the Chris Smith case has made the Knicks look like laughingstocks around the league, the NBA didn’t do anything about it. Probably because the Knicks have paid a big enough penalty because of their stupidity.
I find it hard to believe that basketball people such as Steve Mills and Allan Houston didn’t see the need for an additional big man on a roster so thin with legitimate frontcourt help.
Then there is the fact that even though the organization assigned Smith to their D-League affiliate yesterday, because of his guaranteed contract the club cannot add a body to the current roster.
Even though Tyson Chandler and Metta World Peace are dealing with injuries and Amar’e Stoudemire is on a minutes restriction, they can’t do a thing about it because they are paying Smith $490k.
Sometimes it is as simple as you reap what you sew. And in the case of Knicks owner James Dolan, he deserves every bit of the criticism that he has and will continue to receive.
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