Smith was believed to have agreed to a four-year, $24.5 million deal to return to New York. But amid the recent news that Smith underwent left knee surgery on Monday, it has been revealed that the deal is for three years and $17.95 million.
Smith will make $5.57 million next year, $5.98 million in 2013-14 and then have a player option worth $6.4 million in the third year of the contract. While a three-year deal doesn't carry quite as much risk as a four-year deal, it still may be a bit much for a streaky player coming off knee surgery.
Smith actually had two procedures done on Monday, one to deal with damage to his patella tendon and the other to repair a torn meniscus. Smith was dealing with knee problems toward the end of the year, which could help explain some of his troubles in the postseason. The injury will keep the reigning Sixth Man of the Year out 12-16 weeks.
The Knicks claim to have known about the knee situation, and general manager Glen Grunwald isn't too concerned about it. Smith isn't really worried about it either, as Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that it was Smith who pushed for the three-year deal so he could get his Bird rights sooner.
Something that is truly strange, however, is the fact that Grunwald never corrected the incorrect reports of a four-year deal. Furthermore, Beck reports that he got his information from a rival executive and another person with "access to the contract" as opposed to somebody within the Knicks' organization.