Coach Woodson frustrated with ‘non-professionalism’ by star guard.
The New York Knicks are reportedly gauging interest in guard J.R. Smith after he was handed another fine by the NBA on Wednesday.
According to ESPN, sources close to the situation have said that the organisation has become increasingly frustrated with Smith’s transgressions this year and his mixed form on the court.
The 28-year-old was fined $50,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for “recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct” following his shoelace stunts in the past two games.
Coach Mike Woodson publicly hinted at that frustration on Wednesday when he described Smith’s conduct as “unacceptable”.
“I’m not happy about this, because he was warned, he comes back and he makes the same mistake, and it’s not right,” Woodson said. “It’s just got to stop. I keep saying this every time something pops up, but it’s got to stop.”
Smith later took to Twitter to issue an apology to the team, league and Knicks supporters, but that hasn’t quashed rumours that he could now be in line to be shopped ahead of the January 15 deadline.
The Knicks are over the salary cap and Smith signed for more than 120 per cent of his previous salary which prevents the franchise from trading him in the next six days, and in addition any deal may be difficult due to his three-year, $18m contract.
Smith is shooting just 32.3 per cent from the field and is averaging 11.3 points in 29 games so far this season, which is down from 18.1 points last season where he won the Sixth Man of the Year award.
The Knicks guard underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee in the summer before being suspended for five games for violating the league’s anti-drug policy, and later was fined for a hostile tweet to Detroit’s Brandon Jennings.
As a result, the organisation may actively look to find a deal for him in the coming weeks or may be forced to wait until the summer to discuss the situation whilst keeping a close eye on his conduct in future.