Steve Novak tweeted on Thursday a picture of him signing his new contract with the Knicks, along with the words, "It's official!!!"
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Novak's agent Mark Bartelstein said his client signed for a guaranteed $15 million over four years with no options on the final year. In addition to Novak, the Knicks re-signed their other top 3-point shooter, J.R. Smith, to a two-year contract worth $2.8 million per season, with a player option for the second season.
Mike Woodson said it was "very important" that both of them returned.
"I think our fans wanted it that way," he said on Wednesday in Las Vegas, where the Knicks are participating in summer league. "[Steve and J.R.] were very instrumental in the run that we had last year. They both bring valuable pieces to the table, in terms of being able to make shots and make them in bunches."
Smith has spent most of his offseason in Los Angeles, working out with renowned trainer Idan Ravin. His brother, Chris, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul have joined Ravin's basketball skills, conditioning and psychological sessions. Meanwhile, Novak has been back home in Milwaukee training at his alma mater, Marquette. A big priority for him has been working on moves leading into his release; not just standstill shooting.
"I don't think that I'll ever become like a drastically different player, obviously at this stage in my career," he said. "Some summers have just been really getting my shot up quicker or something strictly related to my shot. But this summer, for me, my focus is definitely putting the ball on the floor more, whether it be one dribble or two, or going to the hoop and drawing fouls and that kind of stuff. I think my big emphasis is going to be upper-body strength and just being more comfortable putting the ball on the floor."
Recently, Novak had a minor, non-basketball related stomach ailment that required a procedure done and kept him away from the court. But Woodson said he's healthy now.
Moving forward, Woodson said he needs to work on devising new plays for Novak to make him more of a consistent downtown threat next season. While Novak led the league in 3-point percentage (47.2), he was non-existent in the first round of the playoffs against the Heat, attempting only seven 3s over five games.
"We've got to get him where he's comfortable working off screens," Woodson said. "In that position, you've got to be able to do that -- and he did it in college. In our system, we didn't run a lot of screen for him last year, and those are the things I think I can do. I can put him more in pick-and-rolls, where teams if they want to switch, they can switch and maybe we've got a mismatch with the point guard being guarded by a bigger guy that was guarding him.
"Those are the things I've got to concentrate on with Novak because I think we've got to utilize everything that he does from a shooting standpoint. We've got to put him in positions to shoot the basketball."
Speaking of long-distance shooting, the Knicks now have another underrated threat in Jason Kidd. While Kidd is more known for his passing and triple-doubles, he's third all-time in 3-pointers made (1,874; a respectable 34.9 percent), behind Ray Allen and Reggie Miller.
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