Knicks to keep Smith
NEW YORK — J.R. Smith and Pablo Prigioni are staying in New York to help the Knicks build on their best season in nearly decades.
The Sixth Man of the Year and the point guard from Argentina both agreed to multiyear deals Thursday, their agents confirmed.
Smith helped shoot the Knicks into and then out of the playoffs, having the best season of his career but then struggling through the postseason. The product of nearby New Jersey wanted to stay and the Knicks needed to keep him. They worked out a deal that will pay him about $25 million over four years.
Smith averaged 18.1 points during the regular season, second on the team behind Carmelo Anthony. But he made only 29 percent of his shots in the final eight playoff games.
Still, it was a strong season for Smith, who showed much more maturity and better shot selection than during most of his career. The Knicks were unlikely to find anyone better with their spending limitations and made re-signing Smith a top priority.
Exact terms of the deals won’t be known until July 10, after next season’s salary cap has been set and contracts can be signed.
Prigioni finally came to the NBA this season at 35 after playing in Spain. He played limited minutes as a reserve most of the season but moved into the starting lineup down the stretch and the Knicks took off, going 16-2 with Prigioni among the first five.
The point guard for Argentina’s national team averaged 3.5 points in 78 games. He could make about $6 million over three years.
Sources: Bobcats reach deal with Jefferson
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Bobcats agreed on Thursday to a three-year, $40.5 million contract with free agent center Al Jefferson from the Utah Jazz, said people familiar with the situation.
Jefferson will make $13.5 million in each year of the deal, with the third season being a player option.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t become official. The contract cannot be signed until July 10 when the NBA’s moratorium on signing new deals is lifted.
Jefferson, 28, gives the Bobcats a much-needed scoring threat in the low post, where they struggled last season. He should also help on the boards, where the Bobcats were repeatedly outrebounded the last two seasons.
The 6-foot-10, 289-pound Jefferson has averaged 18.8 points and 10 rebounds per game over the last seven seasons. Last season, his third with the Jazz, he averaged 17.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
AP Source: Hawks, Korver agree to multiyear deal
ATLANTA — A person with knowledge of the deal says the Atlanta Hawks have reached an agreement to re-sign guard-forward Kyle Korver to a multiyear deal.
Korver averaged 10.9 points per game and ranked second in the NBA by making 45.7 percent of his 3-point shots.
.The contract will not impact the Hawks’ ability to offer free-agent center Dwight Howard a maximum contract. General manager Danny Ferry and coach Mike Budenholzer met with Howard.
Sources: Jefferson, Bobcats reach 3-year deal