Over the weekend, reports surfaced that the Denver Nuggets have placed J.R. Smith on the trading block. While it seems at some point during the past few seasons Denver has made it known that they would take offers for Smith, this time it appears a deal could actually get done. Entering the last year of his current deal that will pay him over $6 million this season, if a trade doesn’t happen before the season, you best believe one will happen before the NBA Trade Deadline. With that in mind, here are the Top 5 destinations for the six-year veteran.
1. New Jersey Nets
What don’t the Nets need? While at least one person thinks they could sneak into the playoffs, the fact is that the Nets averaged a league-worst 92.4 point per game last year. Other than Anthony Morrow (who’s still young), New Jersey needs some experience and depth at the shooting guard spot. Bringing in the New Jersey native would help fill that void.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
Who knows what David Kahn has up his sleeve, but it wouldn’t be crazy to think that he’d add Smith to the roster. Right now, the only shooting guards the T-Wolves have are Corey Brewer and Wayne Ellington. And this team desperately needs to find people that can put the ball in the bucket. Plus, the fact that Smith will be off the books next season is definitely a positive for Kahn.
3. New Orleans Hornets
It finally appears that the Hornets are willing to make some moves to help out their man Chris Paul. And with only 11 guys currently on the roster, they should definitely make a play to bring Smith back to the franchise where he started. Right now, the only shooting guards they have are Marcus Thornton and Marco Belinelli, so New Orleans is probably one of the only teams that Smith could get traded to and start.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs averaged 102.1 points per game last season, but this year they’re going to struggle to break 90. While Cleveland already has a crowded backcourt, the Nuggets would take back one or two of their guys in return. Why would the Cavs make this trade? Besides Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison, who’s going to score?
5. Sacramento Kings
While everyone’s talking about Tyreke Evans in Sacramento, people forgot that after they traded away Kevin Martin, they never replaced him with another shooting guard. Right now, the only shooting guard on the roster is Francisco Garcia, and he played 25 games last season. Smith would fit in well with this team, and could take some of the scoring burden off of ‘Reke.
What do you think? What’s the best destination for J.R. Smith?
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