JR Smith: Soon To Be Out of Denver

@id_pop (293)
October 30, 2007 11:15am CST
JR Smith, the Denver Nuggets' 22-year-old problem child, will soon be out of the team, at least by the end of the season. The Nuggets decided not to pick up the option on Smith's contract, meaning he will be a restricted free agent next season. On the other hand, they have picked up their option on Linus Kleiza's contract, guaranteeing him $1.8 million next season. That's how far Smith has sunk in the Nuggets' priorities: he no longer is a part of that list. I think this is a good decision made by the Nuggets' management. JR Smith has done the team more harm than good during his stint at Denver. His growing pains are too much of a baggage for a win-now team like Denver, what with Allen Iverson and Marcus Camby nearing the ends of their respective careers. He could have been part of the Nuggets' future plans alongside Carmelo Anthony, Linus Kleiza, and Nene, but his involvement with last season's brawl with the New York Knicks, a car accident in New Jersey which saw the death of his 21-year-old friend Andre Bell, and a very recent nightclub altercation (where reports say he spit on the female victim before tearing off her dress) all adds up to too much negativity for Denver to concern themselves with. I've read this article by Mark Kiszla (of the Denver Post) and it was interesting how JR Smith replied to his query, asking the player when is he going to grow up. Smith replied, "When am I going to grow up? I grow up as fast as I can. But, at the same time, I'm not going to rush it." I say to this, he'd better rush growing up before he make another mess of himself. George Karl's reportedly exasperated with Smith, but believes JR has enough goods to be trusted on court. Off the court seems to be a totally different matter. So there, I think the Nuggets finally made a good decision on their future with JR Smith. They don't want him now, really, and he wouldn't be that hard to let go if not for the millions of dollars they have invested on him. There might be a small window of hope for him to prove himself over the season, although by that I don't mean on the court. He must prove to the Nuggets that he can be mature enough to play in the NBA and on their team, and if he does, who knows? Maybe someone would be interested enough in him and snag him from the Nuggets, or maybe even better, the Nuggets might realize the kid is past his problems and match whatever offer comes their way. And what if he doesn't? A dim future for JR Smith, that's what.
1 response
• Philippines
14 May 08
I think it's a great and good decision for the nuggets. Nuggets are full of players that are great in offensive end. And one is JR Smith. Yes, they have AI and Melo, enough to solve for their offense. So, JR is not needed anymore. Nuggets need a great defensive player although they have the promising Marcus Camby; Camby is not enough. For JR, I know we'll be watching you play for a new team next season.
@id_pop (293)
• Philippines
11 Jun 08
Perhaps a combo guard that's gifted in guarding the perimeter? I do think that they have enough players to fill out the starter roles, and if they're letting JR Smith go, it may be enough for them to get a perimeter defender that'd be content on coming into the game from the bench. Sure, AI's one of the best small players defensively, but if they can get another one, that would be great for the Nuggets.
@BBaller (180)
• United States
21 Oct 09
And they did. Billup for AI was one of the best trade they did. AI totally screwed up Piston's team play.