Thursday, August 2, 2012
Knicks Sign Chris Smith. How Will He Fit In?
The Knicks look steady at the point guard position, with Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, and Pablo Prigioni all already in the fold.
But as the team learned last season, various injuries and/or a player's failure to meet expectations can always lead to an unknown void needing to be filled.
With Kidd and Prigioni both already in their upper thirties (our friend Seth notes the Argentine point guard is actually sitting out today's Olympic contest), perhaps New York is looking for some insurance down the line.
The Knicks announced yesterday that they've signed Louisville guard Chris Smith, younger brother of swingman and the team's sixth man, J.R. Smith.
The younger Smith donned orange and blue for the team during NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, but played sparingly and only shot 29% from the field.
It's been widely reported that C. Smith's one year deal is non-guaranteed, and thus, such a signing is viewed by many as purely a favor to his older brother.
Even so, my pal Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York reports the Knicks may aim to assign Smith's rights to their D-League squad, the Erie Bayhawks.
Last season, New York actually sent both Jeremy Lin (pre-Linsanity) and Jerome Jordan down to Erie to get more minutes and spend time with the team. Amityville native and NBA veteran Mike James also spent time with the D-League squad and later received a call-up from the Chicago Bulls.
Given how quickly the Knicks went through giving different floor generals minutes last season, it certainly wouldn't hurt to develop and keep closer tabs on a promising prospect. It's just a shame there were probably better options out there.
Because the newly signed Smith's deal is in fact non-guaranteed, he currently does not represent the team's fifteenth and final player on the roster just yet. He will, however, join the Knicks in training camp.
Connections are everything, and certainly knowing a couple of important people in the Big Apple helped the Louisville guard's cause. For more on the type of journey it takes to break into the NBA and obtain a team's final coveted spot, check out Knicks Journal's interview with journeyman Brian Kortovich, who spent training camp with New York in 2010.