It’s been a bumpy ride for Smith since he came into the league, and his knack for undesirable headlines is nearly peerless among his NBA contemporaries. Last year, though, he enjoyed his best season as a pro during the most successful Knicks campaign in more than a decade. So Smith ducked most of the bad press his extracurriculars would have otherwise warranted. But if his play slips upon his return and/or the Knicks get off to a slow start, Smith will find himself in the crosshairs of an unforgiving New York media contingent faster than he can pull the trigger on a 25-foot step-back jumper. Will the Knicks be willing to put up with Smith’s antics if he can’t produce at a level that matches his career-best 2012-13 season? Perhaps not. What About the Deal? Andy Lyons/Getty Images This is the part where you should start questioning the likelihood of the Knicks dumping Smith just a few weeks after inking him to a three-year, $18 million dealwhich, by the way, has a 15-percent trade kicker , per Shamsports.com. Remember, though, that the Knicks signed Smith largely because they didn’t have many better options. Cash-strapped and unable to offer free agents anything more than a piece of the mid-level exception or the veteran’s minimum, New York figured its best option was to retain Smith at a heftier price by using its Bird rights on him. According to NBA.com’s John Schuhmann , the Knicks may have made the decision to sign Smith with the idea of trading him down the line. Thats exactly what the Brooklyn Nets did withKris Humphries. When Humphries was a free agent last year, the Nets didnt necessarily want to bring him back. But they had his Bird rights and couldnt spend the same amount of money on another teams free agent. So they signed Humphries to a two-year, $24 million contract, with the idea that they could eventually trade him for another player making similar money. Maybe that’s been the plan all along.
How Much Longer Will J.R. Smith Get to Prove Himself Before NY Knicks Dump Him?
Meanwhile, Smith’s 3 p.m. show will get a new studio. Smith said in the statement that he is “thrilled” by the move. The announcement comes as part of the network’s larger primetime shakeup, and spurs immediate speculation that Megyn Kelly who is moving to primetime when she returns from maternity leave will be taking over the 7 p.m. hour. She has been rumored to be taking over Sean Hannity’s timeslot at 9 p.m. Hannity addressed the speculation in August, saying, “Let’s just say in the end, I’m very happy.” Fox News has yet to officially announce its new primetime lineup. Related on HuffPost: Loading Slideshow Capitol File’s 2006 Anniversary Party Mary Hallas and Megyn Kendall during Capitol File’s 2006 Anniversary Party at National Portrait Gallery in Washington, District of Columbia, United States. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage for Niche Media, LLC) 2008 Republican National Convention: Day 2 ST. PAUL, MN – SEPTEMBER 02: Fox anchor Megyn Kelly Shines sits on the CNN set on day two of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center on September 2, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The GOP will nominate U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as the Republican choice for U.S. President on the last day of the convention.