BY MATT SHETLER
There hasn’t been much about the New York Knicks season that has brought a smile to the face of many Knicks fans, but the latest news just may do the trick.
The Knicks have become increasingly frustrated with Smith’s on- and off-court transgressions, according to Stein and Begley, who hear from one source that the team is “fed up” with the shooting guard’s erratic behavior.
Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson appeared on ESPN Radio in New York and called the latest episode in the Smith saga “unacceptable.”
So looking to move Smith makes a lot of sense for the Knicks as it would remove one unproductive headache from the team and free up more valuable minutes for youngsters Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr.
However don’t get too excited.
The Knicks won’t be able to move Smith for the simple reason as he has no trade value.
What contending team would want to have to put up with Smith’s antics right now? If you are a coach or a general manager of a good team, he may be perhaps the last guy in the NBA that you would want to bring aboard.
No rebuilding team will touch him either as it makes little sense to bring a player with his type of behavior aboard a young team.
And that’s just the off the court stuff.
On the court, Smith, last season’s Sixth Man of the Year, has also seen his production drop off. After sitting out the first five games of the season due to a drug violation, Smith has appeared in 29 contests, averaging 11.3 PPG with a .348 FG% and a 9.9 PER. The latter two marks are the worst of his 10-year career.
He can’t help a contending team with as bad as he has been so there is simply no trade market for him. Throw in all of the other stuff and no team in the NBA wants a piece of him right now.
According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, the Knicks have been trying to deal Smith for two weeks now and no team will touch him.
Smith can’t be dealt until at least January 15, so any possible deal would have to happen between then and the trade deadline.
The only good news for the Knicks is that closer to the trade deadline, some team might be desperate enough to take a gamble on him. His contract isn’t a bad one so it is moveable, but only to a desperate team. I wouldn’t expect a lot in return though if I were the Knicks.
However it is at all possible that the Knicks making all of this public is just a ploy to scare Smith into cleaning up his act.
They have to know they won’t be able to trade him.
However judging by his entire career to date, it won’t have much of an effect on his behavior.
When it comes down to it, the only real way to get Smith off the roster would be to outright release him. If the Knicks get that fed up, it will be there only realistic option.
Eat whatever money you have to and move on.