J.R. Smith had a pair of knee surgeries this summer, and could miss the start of the season. It wouldn't be an issue if he had the procedures done soon after the Knicks; season ended in mid-May; instead he waited until July 15th, a week after he signed a three-year $18 million extension.
"I'm a father and I have two young children to look after," Smith said today. "It made more sense for my family to get a deal done before that."
Of course it made sense for Smith: Why risk the tiny chance that something could go wrong during the surgery, or the slightly larger chance that the procedure could reveal something more significant than tears to his patellar tendon and lateral meniscus?
When Smith's surgery was announced, the Knicks claimed they knew all along he'd need to go under the knife. Whether that was just to save face, or the team has some good knee insurance language put into the contract, it doesn't explain why they'd allow their highly paid sixth man to wait long enough so that his expected rehab butt sinto the start of the season. Very Knicksy.
Whenever Smith is ready to play again, he'll still have to sit another five games. That's the length of his suspension for a failed drug test, reportedly for marijuana. And just like that, an $18 million deal already has a few hundred thousand knocked off the top.