Saturday, February 18, 2012

D-Rose close on returning; Knicks sign JR Smith

Source : NBA on Yahoo Sports

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP)—Derrick Rose appears to be close to returning to the Chicago Bulls’ lineup after missing the past four games because of back spasms.

Coach Tom Thibodeau says the league’s reigning MVP was more involved in Friday’s light practice but remains day to day. He says whether Rose returns Saturday against New Jersey depends on “how he feels.” If he sits out the Nets game, his next chance to play would be Monday against Atlanta.

Thibodeau says the Bulls want him to be pain-free when he returns.

Veteran guard Richard Hamilton, who has been limited to 11 games because of groin and thigh problems, did some shooting and worked one-on-one with assistant Ron Adams after practice. Thibodeau says he “still has a long way to go” and will not play Saturday.


NEW YORK (AP)—The New York Knicks signed J.R. Smith on Friday, hoping his 3-point shooting can improve one of their biggest weaknesses.

The timing may be risky with the Knicks playing their best basketball of the season, but the Knicks think Smith will be worth the risk.

“We just felt that it was an opportunity to acquire a very good basketball player and to help us in a way that I think we’re in need of,” interim general manager Glen Grunwald said. “He’s a talented offensive player, shoot the ball, he can get to the rim, he can run the floor, so we just felt it was the right fit for what sort of we’d be facing the rest of this year.”

Smith is returning to the NBA from China, where he signed to play during the lockout. He was ineligible to return until his team had completed its season and FIBA, basketball’s governing body, had given him clearance.

Smith had declared his intentions to reunite with former Denver teammate Carmelo Anthony earlier in the day on Twitter, saying “New York Knicks it is!”

The Knicks still had their two-year exception, worth about $2.5 million a year, to offer. The second year of the deal is at Smith’s option.

Smith is a streaky shooter with deep range and has averaged 12.5 points in the NBA since he was the No. 18 pick by the Hornets in the 2004 draft. He spent the last five seasons with the Nuggets, twice scoring more than 15 points per game.

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