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Friday, December 19, 2014

JR Smith Out 12-16 Weeks Following Knee Surgery

Ian Begley of ESPN New York reports:

J.R. Smith had patella tendon surgery & arthroscopy for a tear in the lateral meniscus, of his left knee, at the HSS in NYC, Knicks say

Recovery time for JR Smith is approximately 12-16 weeks, Knicks say.

JR Smith could return between Oct 15 and Nov. 15, according to the Knicks timetable.

So yeah, that just happened. Now it makes a bit more sense why JR wanted to lock down the long-term deal. He should recover from this fine, but…well, knee surgeries don’t always go along with what “should” happen. Scary stuff. At least he picked a good time to have the surgery, as he might not even miss any regular season games.

48 comments on “JR Smith Out 12-16 Weeks Following Knee Surgery

  1. Mike Kurylo

    If Copeland were still around, this would be a perfect spot for him to fill in. Instead the first scorer off the bench is likely to be Bargnani. That’s going to put him under the microscope early. If he can’t bring some electricity to the court (IE score points off the bench) the boo-birds could stick with him.

  2. Hubert

    On the plus side, Shumpert has a chance to play 30+ minutes from the get go and show Coach that he shouldn’t be starter in name only.

    I think one of the key things that needs to occur next year is JR needs to actually be the 6th man. Last year in the playoffs he was the second, and we went about as far as you can expect to go when he’s your #2 option.

    Maybe, like the Amare injury, this turns out to be a blessing and helps us establish our best team from the start.

  3. ruruland

    Could explain some of his struggles in po. Could. No idea why people think this is a big deal, but then again every bit of news is the end of the world for a whole lot of Knicks fans.

    Knicks should have plenty of depth to absorb it; including Nate Rob ;)

  4. Hubert

    Isola is on a roll on twitter and I can’t say I disagree with him:

    @FisolaNYDN: Which is worse: Not knowing J.R. had a bad knee & signing him for 4-years or as Knicks claim, knowing it and still giving him 4 years?

  5. BigBlueAL

    Isola on Twitter is just absolutely annihilating the Knicks over the JR Smith contract and surgery. He is letting them have it lol.

  6. BigBlueAL

    ruruland:
    Could explain some of his struggles in po. Could. No idea why people think this is a big deal, but then again every bit of news is the end of the world for a whole lot of Knicks fans.

    Knicks should have plenty of depth to absorb it; including Nate Rob ;)

    Its not necessary to go overboard on this news like Isola is doing but this is a pretty big deal. Knee surgeries that take 3 to 4 months to recover from isnt exactly minor stuff, especially when it is mentioned this was a chronic injury that got worse. Also doesnt exactly look good when he was just signed to a 4yr deal then all of a sudden gets knee surgery that could mean he misses the start of the season.

  7. ruruland

    Pretty common surgery. Guys almost always get back.

    Knicks knew about it and obviously understood the risk — the only risk, and literally I mean the only risk, given signing JR did not hinder or affect any other FA signing, would be in years three and four. And pretty good chance he’ll still be a solid player by then.

    Who knows, maybe by recovering from surgery JR can get his shot right again -back to the 38-41 percent he used to shoot– and increase his value relative to last season.

  8. Brian Cronin Post author

    Yeah, like I say in the piece, he should be fine, so it isn’t a big deal, but any sort of knee surgery is scary, even ones where the player should be fine.

  9. Hubert

    While not a big deal, it is a deal.

    Fact is, this doesn’t appear to have been priced into his deal, either bc his camp withheld it, our medical staff was too incompetent to pick up on it, or we knew and just didn’t care. Any one of those things is troubling.

    If he hits the market today, after revealing this, he likely gets a one or 2 year deal, max.

  10. chrisk06811

    how long will it take the folks in Indiana to figure out Cope is just like Lee Nailon?

  11. ruruland

    Hubert:
    While not a big deal, it is a deal.

    Fact is, this doesn’t appear to have been priced into his deal, either bc his camp withheld it, our medical staff was too incompetent to pick up on it, or we knew and just didn’t care. Any one of those things is troubling.

    If he hits the market today, after revealing this, he likely gets a one or 2 year deal, max.

    Maybe, but if we accept the following two premises, it may actually work in reverse.

    1. The knee issues negatively affected JR’s shooting/explosion 2. the risk of the surgeries are low.

    Therefore, teams interested in JR could have surmised that the procedure he’s going to get on his knee could actually increase his value once he’s healthy. I think there’s certainly some strong merit to that notion when we considered say, Herring’s piece on JR’s reduced explosiveness (he and Melo, and Melo dunked like 30 times after the surgery) and then look at how much his jump shot percentage dropped from early in the season.

    JR once shot a very high percentage on assisted jumpers; last year’s efficiency issues largely stemmed from a broken jumper, even if he was self-creating better than ever before and more than ever before.

  12. nyk8806

    It’s all starting to make sense now. JR’s knee problem is a rare, chronic condition that only flares up in the playoffs. Or, this surgery is just a cover for the training staff to graft some cybernetic implants that will have JR throwing down balls-to-the-face posterizations of Hibbert. Or, we have another dude with a bum knee on a four-year deal. Here’s to hoping pipe’s recovery is more Shump (5 years his junior) than Amare (3 years his senior).

  13. Hubert

    So, you think if people knew he needed surgery after seeing him implode in the playoffs, that would have driven his price…up?

    I assume you’re implying that some team would ignore the last two months thinking he was playing hurt and pay him on his performance up until April, which arguably warranted a contract in the OJ Mayo/Monta Ellis range.

    I don’t see who would have done that, but it only takes one idiot, I guess.

  14. hoolahoop

    ruruland:
    Pretty common surgery. Guys almost always get back.

    Knicks knew about it and obviously understood the risk — the only risk, and literally I mean the only risk, givensigning JR did not hinder or affect any other FA signing, would be in years three and four. And pretty good chance he’ll still be a solid player by then.

    Who knows, maybe by recovering from surgery JR can get his shot right again -back to the 38-41 percent he used to shoot– and increase his value relative to last season.

    Don’t you get sick of spinning and defending everything about the knicks?
    Why do you do that?

  15. hoolahoop

    Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, like I say in the piece, he should be fine, so it isn’t a big deal, but any sort of knee surgery is scary, even ones where the player should be fine.

    People dying is common too. Major knee surgery is a big deal . . . when you sign someone to a four year contract.

  16. Igno-Bot 3000

    This is the same injury that MWP came back from this spring, correct?

    Injury seems pretty minor unless I’m missing something. Maybe I’m just an optimist as far as the surgery, but I still think we got him at/below market value. Did he have any similar injuries on Denver?

    What would you argue is a “fair price” for his deal? Would you be hypothetically mad if the Knicks didn’t sign him and say, he got picked up by the Bobcats for 4/24 knowing that he had to have this surgery first?

  17. Brian Cronin Post author

    I think the injury might (stress might) have something to do with JR choosing a four year deal instead of two, but I do not believe it affected his market in the sense that I don’t think there was a team out there prepared to offer him $8 million, or even $7 million a year, regardless of the injury.

  18. JK47

    What’s a little scary to me is that the surgery seemed to be for a meniscus tear AND a patella tendon problem. The meniscus part seems to be a very common surgery with a very high recovery rate, while the patella tendon part seems to be little more iffy.

  19. Brian Cronin Post author

    Yeah, researching patella tendon injuries…there are some scary examples out there. But there are some fine ones, as well. I think Smith will be fine, but there’s no way that this is not at least a slight cause for concern.

  20. ruruland

    Hubert:
    So, you think if people knew he needed surgery after seeing him implode in the playoffs, that would have driven his price…up?

    I assume you’re implying that some team would ignore the last two months thinking he was playing hurt and pay him on his performance up until April, which arguably warranted a contract in the OJ Mayo/Monta Ellis range.

    I don’t see who would have done that, but it only takes one idiot, I guess.

    Sort of, I’m saying a team would see that he actually improved in a lot of areas over the course of the season that were not due primarily to his athletic ability. I think his driving to the basket improvements were largely mental/improved decision making; rarely was he attacking on straight line drives. A lot of it was strength and his change of direction dribble moves — primarily a skill.

    He performed poorly in other areas where he normally excels, just in aggregate.

    I think the playoff situation bolsters the argument. So obvious that it would.

    If the knee injury does actually excuse how pitiful JR performed in the playoffs — at least explaining a great deal of it — FO’s are going to perceive as having more potential value than he had simply flopped.

    Just really obvious stuff actually. Of course the Knicks knew about it and of course they weren’t going to disclose it until JR was retained.

    In terms of the risk, what is it, really? JR can be bought out (he wouldn’t count against cap if he’s not picked up waivers) or if he’s done the Knicks can use a disabled player exception.

  21. ruruland

    hoolahoop: People dying is common too. Major knee surgery is a big deal . . . when you sign someone to a four year contract.

    Not when for two of those four years his contract has literally no bearing on the rest of the roster outside of the spot he’s taking on it, and not when if it’s like a Roy situation or whatever, he can basically be let go w/out it hurting team.

  22. Hubert

    “I think the playoff situation bolsters the argument”

    But it was plain to see that his problems in the playoffs were very mental. An injured knee didn’t make him elbow Jason Terry, continually take terrible shots, force him to go out clubbing all too frequently, inspire (probably baseless but still troubling) rumors of massive cocaine use, or make him stop paying attention on defense so much that Indiana backdoor cut him right out of the playoffs.

    The guy imploded mentally.

    I thought the 4 year deal was excessive when we signed it, but it made sense bc we were kind of desperate. Knowing this, it’s just a bad deal. Giving him 4 years was as excessive as throwing the 1st round pick into the AB deal.

  23. ephus

    Hubert:
    “But it was plain to see that his problems in the playoffs were very mental.An injured knee didn’t make him elbow Jason Terry, continually take terrible shots, force him to go out clubbing all too frequently, inspire (probably baseless but still troubling) rumors of massive cocaine use, or make him stop paying attention on defense so much that Indiana backdoor cut him right out of the playoffs.

    The guy imploded mentally.

    I agree that JR Smith imploded mentally. I respectfully disagree that the knee injury had “nothing” to do with that implosion. With this new information, I believe that JR Smith did not have the mental strength to face his injury and bring whatever he had left in the tank. Instead, I think he self-destructed and self-medicated (with booze) to create a drama that was somehow more palatable to him than “At my best, at this moment, I’m not as good as I was during the regular season.”

    As Tom Hanks said in the movie, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it.”

  24. Hubert

    No way to discredit your belief. He has a long track record of mental breakdowns without a knee injury, though. But more importantly, I believe that no GM in the league would have shared your belief with enough conviction to offer him a 4 year deal.

    Without our benevolent generosity, given the contracts handed out this summer, I think JR was looking at a Bynum-esque make good deal in the 1-2 year area with a $4-5mm AAV.

    Like throwing in the 1st to the AB trade, it’s just another example of us overpaying out of desperation further weakens our ability to negotiate good deals in the future.

  25. TDM

    @Hubert – I fully agree. The Knicks always appear to negotiate from a position of weakness. I would like to see what deals, if any, the Knicks walked away from because they stood their ground.

  26. DRed

    I’m willing to give JR a pass on his playoff shitshow because he was hurt. But giving him a 4 year deal was kinda silly, especially since our plan now seems to put a good, but not championship caliber team on the floor for two years and blow it all up.

  27. alsep73

    TDM:
    @Hubert – I fully agree.The Knicks always appear to negotiate from a position of weakness.I would like to see what deals, if any, the Knicks walked away from because they stood their ground.

    TDM, I would say that’s exactly what they did with Lin. Of course, that may have had more to do with Dolan being a horrible and petty human being than a basketball management decision.

  28. Z-man

    TDM:
    @Hubert – I fully agree.The Knicks always appear to negotiate from a position of weakness.I would like to see what deals, if any, the Knicks walked away from because they stood their ground.

    That’s one way of looking at it. Another way is that they are in “win now” mode and can’t afford to take chances waiting. If they really believe that Bargnani is going to be a difference-maker, then waiting would be folly, he would certainly be picked up by someone or amnestied and not clear waivers. As to JR, he is still the reigning 6th man of the year and talent-wise well worth the $6 mill he got. As to his knee, I would be a lot more worried if he was unable to play through it in the playoffs. He was certainly affected, but still out there running and cutting. For the more serious patellar tendon injuries in the posted article, there is much more concern, but again, he played through whatever it was.

    Again, the opportunity cost of the Bargnani and JR deals is tiny compared to deals from the Isiah era. As was said before, once we locked in Amare, Melo and Chandler, the rest of the roster was going to get filled out as we have done. We get a first rounder every two years and can find the Lins, Novaks, Prigionis and Copelands on the waiver wire, and pick up a few lucky signings along the way (JR and Artest.) In that light, how can anyone dispute that this team is the best combination of veterans and youth, stars and role players, offensive and defensive talents, that we have assembled in fifteen years?

  29. Z-man

    That said, my biggest concern right now is with Woodson as the coach of this team, I feel that he was clearly out-coached by Vogel in the playoffs.

  30. Z-man

    Sorry for the triple post, but I should also mention that we have something around $10 million committed in 2015, in two players that should be worth close to that much at that time and one that will be a marketable expiring contract. When was the last time we both had a contending team and had major cap relief coming in two years?

  31. Hubert

    Z-man:
    That said, my biggest concern right now is with Woodson as the coach of this team, I feel that he was clearly out-coached by Vogel in the playoffs.

    That’s the one thing that was decisively proven in the Pacers series.

  32. Brian Cronin Post author

    That said, my biggest concern right now is with Woodson as the coach of this team, I feel that he was clearly out-coached by Vogel in the playoffs.

    Playoff Woody scares me, too, but at the same time, who are you going to replace him with that’s any better? I guess if Jax would coach here, but I doubt he’d ever coach for Dolan and I doubt Dolan would ever hire him. Carlisle would be awesome, but Dallas loves him.

  33. Brian Cronin Post author

    Sorry for the triple post, but I should also mention that we have something around $10 million committed in 2015, in two players that should be worth close to that much at that time and one that will be a marketable expiring contract. When was the last time we both had a contending team and had major cap relief coming in two years?

    The Knicks have been in salary cap hell from before the salary cap even existed, so this will only be the second time ever that the Knicks had significant cap room during an offseason (2009 being the first one, of course). 1996 was the closest, where they cleared enough cap space to be able to sign Houston and Childs, but obviously that was nowhere near the room they had in 2009 or what they will have in 2015 (provided, of course, that Melo stays true to his…uhmmm…I don’t want to say “word” since he hasn’t actually promised anything…how about his “implied intentions” and doesn’t opt out this coming offseason).

  34. lavor postell

    Z-man:
    Sorry for the triple post, but I should also mention that we have something around $10 million committed in 2015, in two players that should be worth close to that much at that time and one that will be a marketable expiring contract. When was the last time we both had a contending team and had major cap relief coming in two years?

    I think it’s way more enjoyable to continuously bash Melo’s inefficient gunning, question the Knicks’ package to Denver for him, get pissed about handing STAT a max deal and then not amnestying him over Billups. I mean all of this just happened right?

    I can understand disagreeing over any move the Knicks move because as fans that’s what we do. I just have a hard time people acting like this particular iteration of the Knicks is some awful, pathetic excuse of a team. It’s not an easy process assembling a championship team.

    How many people thought the Mavericks would win a championship by being loyal to Dirk after losing to an 8 seed GSW squad in 2007 and retooling the team around him constantly? I don’t think Melo is as good as an in-prime Dirk, but he’s still pretty damn good and the Knicks have a punchers chance if things fall correctly to emerge from the East, though obviously unlikely.

    I’m okay rooting for a team that will probably win around 50 games again and be competitive in a series against any team in the league, while not being capped out for the next decade. I am definitely not going to bitch about our situation like we’re the Bobcats struggling to win double digit games.

  35. Hubert

    Z-man: ThIn that light, how can anyone dispute that this team is the best combination of veterans and youth, stars and role players, offensive and defensive talents, that we have assembled in fifteen years?

    I wouldn’t dispute that.

    I might dispute that it’s the best combination of veterans and youth, stars and role players, that we could have assembled given our resources. That had we valued our assets higher we would likely be in a better position.

    But that’s been done 1,000 times and I don’t want to be 1,001st.

    All I will say is that the JR deal seems to indicate we continued our troubling trend of forfeiting leverage and overpaying out of desperation when there wasn’t an overwhelming need to. The more you do that, the more you end up with flaws that reveal themselves all too clearly in the playoffs.

    This is a mistake that will most likely compound when, in 2 years when we need an extra $5 mil in cap room, we end up throwing a 1st round pick and some cash into a deal to a team to take JR Smith off our hands. And the beat will go on, and on, and on….

  36. njasdjdh

    ruruland: gning, would be in years three and four. And pretty good chance he’ll still be a solid player by then.

    Who knows, maybe by recovering from surgery JR can get his shot right again -back to the 38-41 percent he used to shoot– and increase his value relative to last season.

    This is amazing.

  37. Z-man

    Hubert:
    I might dispute that it’s the best combination of veterans and youth, stars and role players, that we could have assembled given our resources.That had we valued our assets higher we would likely be in a better position.

    All I will say is that the JR deal seems to indicate we continued our troubling trend of forfeiting leverage and overpaying out of desperation when there wasn’t an overwhelming need to.The more you do that, the more you end up with flaws that reveal themselves all too clearly in the playoffs.

    This is a mistake that will most likely compound when, in 2 years when we need an extra $5 mil in cap room, we end up throwing a 1st round pick and some cash into a deal to a team to take JR Smith off our hands.And the beat will go on, and on, and on….

    Or, maybe we trade some expirings for some assets in 2014-2015.

    Again, there is no telling what would have happened if we waited on JR. Is it impossible that if he was not re-signed by now that another team would have offered him $7 mill for 2 years, an offer we could not have matched even if we wanted to? And if that happened, who is playing SG in his place for 30+ minutes a game? Remember, we could not have used the first 2 years of that money for anyone else. So who is it? Nate, who gives you ZERO on the defensive end? Nick Young? THJ? There really wasn’t an answer there. So, if the goal is to be competitive now and to still have flexibility in the future, this was not a rash, cap-killing move.

    As to Bargs, we essentially dealt two worthless players and a low first rounder (2nd rounders? please.) and the cap room in 2015 that was then essentially given to JR. What are the odds that AB will be a better player than a #20 pick in an upcoming draft? Not 100% but certainly worth a roll of the dice since it doesn’t affect 2015. I truly like the gamble.

  38. Z-man

    So, essentially, it’s this:

    Out: Kidd, Camby, Novak, Kurt, KMart (for now), Copeland

    In: MWP, Bargnani, THJ, Leslie

    We still have around 4 roster spots to fill. Bargnani essentially replaces Novak and Thomas. MWP replaces Copeland. Prigs will give us at least what Kidd gave us after the all-star berak, and there is still a roster spot open for a back-up PG. KMart might be back. Leslie, Tyler, and/or Jordan might get an opportunity to contribute.

  39. Hubert

    ruruland:
    When you really think about the Knicks roster, I can’t come up with another team that’s as uniquely and as diversely constructed as the Knicks, with perhaps the exception of the Spurs.

    What other team has an elite offensive player top 15 guy and a top 5 center (when he’s motivated?) Maybe Brooklyn. San Antonio. (Parker and Duncan) and now Houston.

    I think the problem with the roster is it’s schizophrenic. We have a lot of guys who specialize on one side of the ball and are subpar on the other.

  40. lavor postell

    Z-man:
    So, essentially, it’s this:

    Out: Kidd, Camby, Novak, Kurt, KMart (for now), Copeland

    In: MWP, Bargnani, THJ, Leslie

    We still have around 4 roster spots to fill. Bargnani essentially replaces Novak and Thomas. MWP replaces Copeland. Prigs will give us at least what Kidd gave us after the all-star berak, and there is still a roster spot open for a back-up PG. KMart might be back. Leslie, Tyler, and/or Jordan might get an opportunity to contribute.

    I think Tyler is a way better option than Jordan based on age, potential and performance so far. If we can bring back KMart given what the resources we started with and what we’ve been able to do I’d be satisfied with our offseason. The only real point of contention I would have is drafting THJ, though a lot of people felt this way about Shumpert when he was drafted as well. After unearthing Fields, Shumpert, Novak, Lin, Extra E and Copeland and them contributing veery significantly I’ll be patient and give Grunwald, Warkentien and co. the benefit of the doubt.

  41. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Mike Kurylo:
    If Copeland were still around, this would be a perfect spot for him to fill in. Instead the first scorer off the bench is likely to be Bargnani. That’s going to put him under the microscope early. If he can’t bring some electricity to the court (IE score points off the bench) the boo-birds could stick with him.

    I really hope they put Bargnani at the 2 and tell him to just deal with playing guys a half-foot shorter than he is. I bet they’d take a ton of mid-range jumpers against him, and that’s a good thing. This is the only way he can be a productive player.

  42. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: What are the odds that AB will be a better player than a #20 pick in an upcoming draft?

    Slim. Bargnani is one of the worst big men in league history. You’d be better off with a random undrafted FA.

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