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View Full Version : J.R. Smith To Nuggets Deal Soon


HexNBA
07-17-2006, 06:24 AM
Youthful approach
Nuggets close to deal for shooting guard Smith, 20

By Chris Tomasson, Rocky Mountain News
July 17, 2006

The Nuggets' long search for a shooting guard might be over.

A source said Sunday the Nuggets are close to acquiring J.R. Smith, an up-and-coming guard who played last season for the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.

In a deal that was announced Friday, Smith was traded with forward P.J. Brown from the Hornets to the Chicago Bulls for forward Tyson Chandler. The trade is expected to become official after Brown and Smith take physicals Wednesday.

The source said the Bulls then plan to trade Smith to the Nuggets for guard Howard Eisley, who has a nonguaranteed contract, and two future second-round picks. The Bulls, who need to clear salary cap room to sign free-agent forward Adrian Griffin, then would waive Eisley.

The 6-foot-6 Smith, 20, averaged 7.7 points last season after averaging 10.3 as a rookie in 2004-05. He entered the NBA directly from St. Benedict's Prep, a high school in Newark, N.J.

Smith will make $1.39 million next season. With Eisley having a nonguaranteed contract for the veteran minimum of $1.18 million, the trade works under NBA rules.

Nuggets director of player personnel Mark Warkentien, the interim head of the team's basketball operations, declined comment.

It's unclear which second-round picks the Nuggets could be dealing. The Nuggets next year have their own second-round selection and will have the lower second-round pick between Boston's and Golden State's.

The Nuggets long have been searching for more than just a stopgap starter at shooting guard. While Smith is young, he is known as a solid shooter and could develop into the long-term piece the team is seeking.

Smith has a career field-goal percentage of 39.4. But he has shot 31.6 from three-point range, including 37.1 last season.

The only shooting guards currently on the Nuggets roster are Ruben Patterson, who some say is better suited for small forward, and Julius Hodge, who played sparingly last season as a rookie.

The Nuggets last week lost free agent Greg Buckner to Dallas, but there is a solid chance they will re-sign free agent DerMarr Johnson.

With the Nuggets approaching the luxury tax of $65.4 million, getting an economical contract such as Smith's could help. With a Smith acquisition and with Nene signing a six-year, $60 million contract this week, the Nuggets would be in line to have 11 players with guaranteed deals totaling just more than $60 million.

Acquiring Smith also might give the Nuggets more of a desire to match the two-year, $6 million offer sheet given last week by San Antonio to restricted free-agent center Francisco Elson. The Nuggets have until Thursday to decide.

The Bulls, who recently used almost all their cap room to sign free-agent center Ben Wallace to a four-year, $60 million deal, are looking to clear payroll in order to sign Griffin.

Such a signing, though, could not occur until next week at the earliest since the Bulls would need to wait seven days for Eisley to clear waivers.

Smith is under contract for next season. The Nuggets would need to decide by Oct. 31 whether to pick up his $2.14 million option for 2007-08.

Chicago JK
07-17-2006, 09:11 AM
It shows you how low NBA people think of JR. NO/OK pretty much gave him away in a trade and now Chicago is doing the same thing to get back a guy they can release in Eisley.

JR Smith is a very talented athlete but he has no idea how to play basketball right now. Plus, it would appear he is immature and tough to coach. Maybe this will be a wakeup call for him but he better get his act together quickly.

capitalcity
07-17-2006, 10:29 AM
JR Smith is a very talented athlete but he has no idea how to play basketball right now. Plus, it would appear he is immature and tough to coach. Maybe this will be a wakeup call for him but he better get his act together quickly.Good move for the Nugs - Carsmello needs an accomplice.

thewillis12
07-17-2006, 01:52 PM
i think smith would have thrived in the NBA with some college experience. a nice mean college coach to bust his ass and make him grow up.