Dennis Smith Jr. away from Knicks after death of close family member

NEW YORK -- New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. will be away from the team while coping with the sudden death of a close family member.

Speaking before Monday night's game against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden, Knicks coach David Fizdale said there is no timetable for Smith's return.

"We are leaving that up to him," Fizdale said. "Obviously, we want to get him back as soon as possible, but he has got to take care of his family first."

Fizdale said he has spoken to Smith and called the situation "really tough."

"People think because we're basketball players and we make a lot of money and play a game we love for a living that we don't have feelings," Knicks teammate Julius Randle said before the game. "It's the exact opposite."

Acquired as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade with the Dallas Mavericks last season, Smith struggled through the first three games of the season. During the home opener, New York fans booed the guard every time he shot the ball.

Fizdale emphasized that grieving did not impact Smith's play. His loved one died without warning.