J.R. Smith wants to return to Knicks

INDIANAPOLIS -- Guard J.R. Smith is set to become a free agent this offseason but said he hopes to return to the New York Knicks.

"I want to retire a Knick," Smith said when asked about his future following the team's season-ending loss to the Pacers on Saturday night. "I don't want to go anywhere else. I love it. I love my teammates. I love my coaches. I was sitting in the locker room looking at my jersey after the game just knowing I don't want to be anywhere else except for in the orange and blue. So we'll see."

Smith has a $2.9 million player option for next year and is expected to opt out and test free agency. The Knicks likely will make it a priority to re-sign Smith, who won the NBA's Sixth Man Award but struggled in the postseason.

New York has Smith's Early Bird Rights and can offer him a four-year contract starting at approximately $5 million with standard raises.

But they may have competition for Smith's services. Another team with significant cap space can offer Smith more than $5 million.

Smith was asked if he'd take less money to stay in New York.

"I haven't even thought about all that thus far. Still got to talk to [agent] Leon [Rose] and see where we're at," he said.

Smith struggled in the postseason, averaging 14 points on 30 percent shooting. He scored 15 points in the Knicks' Game 6 loss on 4-for-15 shooting.

"I wasn't there for my teammates," Smith said. "... They tried to rely on me and I didn't step up."

In addition to Smith, the Knicks also will have to make decisions on free agents Chris Copeland, Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin, among others.

Ian Begley is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.