Knicks coach Mike Woodson said point guard Chris Smith is “still in the mix” for a roster spot, noting for the first time the coach’s relationship with J.R. is a factor in the franchise potentially wanting to further develop the younger Smith.
For his part, Chris Smith, who played at Louisville before tearing up his knee at training camp last October, said if he is kept on the 15-man roster, he likely will spend much of the season with the Knicks’ D-League affiliate in Erie, Pa.
Smith did not play for the second straight game, as the Knicks dropped a 105-95 decision to the Bucks at Green Bay’s Resch Center.
“He’s still in the mix,’’ Woodson said. “That’s something else we have to sit and talk about [Thursday] in terms of the direction we want to go.’’
Woodson regards J.R. Smith as the son he has never had and owner James Dolan loves him too. Chris Smith’s chances, meanwhile, also increased when rookie C.J. Leslie struggled this preseason.
Combo guard Tour’e Murry has outplayed Smith in preseason but a source indicated his status should not be affected by Smith’s.
Woodson said J.R.’s presence carries a lot of weight as to whether the Knicks keep his brother.
“Sure, it does,” Woodson said. “I look at him just like I look at J.R., though J.R. is the guy who played in a uniform and has been very productive for us. I have a great deal of respect for that family. That’s his brother. I respect that. We’ve got to make some decisions. What those decisions will be, I don’t know.’’
Chris Smith has a unique element to his non-guaranteed deal. If he’s on the roster opening night, the deal is fully guaranteed.