A happy Fourth of July to you from everyone here at Sheridan Hoops, where analysis doesn’t take a day off (though analysis will be chilling out with some burgers and beers later). Let’s quickly get to the latest breaking news and information with, as usual, a statistical bent.
Smith back with Knicks, Prigioni too
The Knicks ultimately got its secondary scorer back. J.R. Smith is returning on a four-year contract worth $24.7 million, as first reported by Frank Isola, the highest monetary amount the Knicks could give him. Based on other contracts given out to similar players like O.J. Mayo and Kyle Korver (we’ll get to them later), Smith probably could have gotten bigger money offers elsewhere, but his loyalty to the team is clearly evident in this contract.
Smith is a player of extremes, either providing elation or sheer frustration, but there’s no question that Smith had his best season in 2012-2013. The 6th Man of the Year played a career high 33.5 minutes per game and had career best point (18.1), rebound (5.3) and Win Share (6.7) totals to go with his best PER (17.6) since the 2007-2008 season.
Smith’s playoff performance was disappointing, but he actually hadn’t shot better than 40 percent from the field in a postseason since 2008-2009. Maybe those struggles should have been expected.
Prigioni gets a three-year deal worth about $6 million, which is certainly a bargain for the elderly Argentine’s production. He only averaged about 16 minutes per game off the bench, but shot 45.5 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from three, to give him a very strong 116 Offensive Rating and a very healthy .123 Win Shares per 48 minutes (.100 is the league average). As long as Prigioni stays healthy, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be a nice asset for the team.