Smith’s opting-out decision, which must be made by July 1, would clear him to test free agency and be eligible for a 20 percent raise based on his $2.382 million salary from this past season, the Times reported, citing an anonymous source.
Smith could get as much as $12.2 million over four years if he opts out. Another option for Smith, the paper says, is re-signing with the Knicks for one year with early-Bird rights and earning a salary of at least $5.3 million in 2013-14.
A source told ESPN New York in May that Smith’s father, Earl, is going to make a strong case for his son to stay in New York, but “it’s very clear that the money is the biggest factor with him.”
Smith was signed in mid-February to a prorated share of the Knicks’ $2.5 million mini-midlevel exception with a player option for 2012-13 after playing in China during the lockout.
It was likely expected that he would decline his player option and test free agency this summer.
In April, three league sources with knowledge of his contract situation told ESPNNewYork.com that he would be undermining his value on the free-agent market by signing the $2.5 million option.
Smith averaged 12.5 points per game on 40 percent shooting, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals in the regular season. But Smith struggled in New York’s first-round loss to Miami, shooting 11-for-48 in the final three games of the series.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley was used in this report.
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