JR Smith

Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald claims that the club had no reservations about giving J.R. Smith a long term contract despite Smith needing knee surgery.

“We’re pretty comfortable this is something that is fixable and won’t present any problems in the foreseeable future over the next four years,” Grunwald said. “We’re okay with that.”

Although Grunwald talked about four years, Smith’s agent, Leon Rose, insisted that his client, despite given the option to sign a four-year deal, had instead inked a two-year deal with a player option.

Smith underwent surgery to repair a patellar tendon and torn meniscus in his left knee on Monday, just five days after he signed the deal worth $17 million. Grunwald maintains that the Knicks were aware of the severity of the injury dating back to October and that once the season ended on May 19 they allowed Smith to decide the next course of treatment.

Reported by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News

Grunwald clarified that it was Smith’s decision for initially choosing rest over surgery, and then finally going under the knife. During the process, he consulted with the Knicks’ medical staff.

“The decision is J.R.’s and he wanted to give it a chance to heal, which is perfectly understandable,” Grunwald said. “We went through a period of rehab and it didn’t get better.”

Reflecting on the season, Grunwald admired Smith for his perseverance to play through pain.

“He struggled towards the end there, but to his credit, he battled through it and I think a lot of players might not have played with the pain that he had with it,” he said.

Reported by Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York