Milwaukee Bucks fans, listen up. If you're tired of the arguments about scoring inefficiency and you're ready for some pure entertainment in your basketball life, I've got some great news. If you want the Bucks to pursue an award-winning talent and negotiate with him at the absolute peak of his NBA value, the latest free agency rumors will excite you. If you need a gunner in your life who thinks "shooting guard" is less of a position and more of natural calling, I'm happy to report to you that the Bucks will be a "main suitor" for New York Knicks SG J.R. Smith, according to Ian Begley of ESPN New York.
This isn't the first report to link Smith to the Bucks during the offseason, so it will be interesting to see what happens next. Especially because the Detroit Pistons -- the other team listed as a main suitor -- may not be all that interested in Smith after all (which makes sense because the team recently drafted SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Bucks, on the other hand, only have Ish Smith under contract in the backcourt and even more cap space to spare now that J.J. Redick's cap hold will disappear in the wake of the recent three-team sign-and-trade deal.
And the Bucks would definitely have to present a big offer to pry Smith away from the Knicks:
Funny line from a friend: "J.R. would rather intern for the #Knicks than play in Milwaukee."— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 3, 2013
Most close to J.R. Smith believe if all offers are the same, he'd remain in New York. That's far from a sure thing at this point, though.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 3, 2013
Because they hold his early-Bird Rights, the Knicks can offer Smith something in the vicinity of a four-year, $24.5 million contract to stay with the team. If the Bucks want to convince the 27-year-old Sixth Man of the Year to leave the Knicks, they will likely have to write a bigger check to do it. For all the posturing and rhetoric, nothing speaks louder in the NBA than money. If John Hammond was prepared to pay Monta Ellis $36 million over the next three years, what's to stop him from outbidding New York for Smith?
You're excited now, right? OF COURSE YOU ARE! I, for one, (hypothetically) welcome our new inefficient overlord and promise to evaluate him as an entertainer first and a shooting guard second. I mean, how can you not fall in love with this...