The NBA announced on Friday that J. R. Smith, the Knicks’ supreme sixth man, will be suspended five games for violating their anti-drug program.
According to the NYT.com, the NBA didn’t disclose specifics about drug-policy violations, but the length of the suspension indicates it was for marijuana. The league issues an automatic five-game suspension for a third violation of the program. No other drug-related violations carry five-game suspensions.
Smith, the NBA’s reigning sixth man of the year, was the Knicks’ second leading scorer last season, averaging 18.1 points a game.
The Knicks re-signed Smith to a three-year, $17.95 million contract in July. Four days later, Smith had two surgeries on his left knee to repair unspecified damage to his patella tendon and a tear of the lateral meniscus.
After Smith has recovered from those surgeries, which could last into the first two weeks of the season, he will carry out his suspension.
The Knicks season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks kicks off on October 30.