'Of course' being family helped, says Chris

Chris Smith knows being J.R. Smith's little brother has helped him retain a spot on the Knicks' roster.

"Has it helped me? Of course. That's my big brother/ People look for us to be together all the time. … He has helped me a lot," Chris said on Friday.

But he also believes his talent played a role as well, adding that he's bothered by the idea espoused by many that he's still on the Knicks' roster solely because he is J.R.'s little brother.

"It bothers me a lot because I think people don't really look at my talent. They just look at, 'J.R. is here and he's been here,'" he said.

The Knicks released Chris Douglas-Roberts, C.J. Leslie, Jeremy Tyler, Josh Powell and Ike Diogu on Friday afternoon. For now, Smith, Toure' Murry and Cole Aldrich remain.

The Knicks can still waive Smith, Murry or Aldrich if they choose. Final regular-season rosters are due Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

Woodson said earlier this week that Smith's relationship with his older brother will factor into whether the team keeps Smith on the 15-man roster. J.R. Smith said on Thursday that he hoped that it didn't factor in.

"I don't want that to come into play because that's a crutch for him, and that's an excuse for him to make the team," J.R. said. "I think that he should make the team based off his own talent and his own ability."

J.R. acknowledged on Thursday that his brother is in a difficult position, trying to make a team that employs a family member, and his little brother agrees.

"It's still difficult right now sitting in this seat," Chris said. "On Twitter, I can't even have a social media because people are coming at me because they think [I made the team because of my brother]. I feel like I earned my position on the team, and I'm going to keep on earning my way here."

An added layer to the team's decision to keep Smith is the former Louisville guard's ties to CAA.

CAA represents both Chris and J.R. and has close ties to the Knicks and Madison Square Garden.

Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, Woodson, assistant GM Allan Houston and front office member Mark Warkentien are represented by the agency.

Some rival agents believe Chris' roster spot with the Knicks was locked in as a "package deal" when J.R. re-signed with the team in July.

Chris signed a nonguaranteed contract worth $490,180. According to several sources with knowledge of the deal, Smith's contract becomes guaranteed if he spends one day on the regular-season roster.

It's no stretch to say New York's decision to keep Smith, for now, is sure to be a controversial one.

Woody likes Aldrich's size: Woodson said the Knicks cut Diogu and opted to keep Aldrich because the former Kansas standout has more size (6-foot-11), is younger (24) and is a true center. The 30-year-old Diogu had a strong showing this preseason, so cutting him was a bit surprising.

However, Woodson said Friday that he feels comfortable with the team's depth at power forward. He mentioned Metta World Peace, Kenyon Martin, Andrea Bargnani, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony as players who can play minutes at power forward.

Tyler Time? Woodson also said there is a chance that the Knicks bring back Tyler once he's healthy. Tyler signed a partially-guaranteed deal with the Knicks over the summer but missed training camp with a broken bone in his foot.

"Once he gets healthy, we possibly could bring him back," Woodson said.

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