The NBA is, quite simply, a better place with J.R. Smith in it. Whether he’s untying opponents shoes at the free throw line or catching up with old pals in the middle of a game, Smith is an endless source of entertainment. He was also a pretty decent NBA shooting guard for a number of years who made meaningful contributions to the Cavs during their Finals runs.
But now it appears his future in the league might be in jeopardy. Smith didn’t find much of a market for his services this summer after the Cavs waived him, and despite rumors that he could reunite with former teammate LeBron James in Los Angeles, nothing has materialized on that front, and the likelihood of it is quickly diminishing.
With the season fast approaching and no suitors on the horizon, Smith may have to explore other options. However, that apparently won’t include a return to China, as Smith has reportedly turned down a one-year deal with the club Jiangsu worth about $1.6 million.
Free agent guard JR Smith was offered $1.6M net from Chinese team Jiangsu but he turned down the proposal made by the Chinese team, a source told Sportando.
Smith has already played in China, early in his career, with Zhejiang averaging 34.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 2011-2012.
If his NBA options have indeed dried up, China isn’t such a bad idea. Smith was able to dominate the CBA during the last lockout, and plenty of former NBA stars like Stephon Marbury and Tracy McGrady have found second life there. Regardless, Smith is still clearly holding out hope that an NBA team will come calling in the next few months. If not, it’ll be time to once again re-evaluate his options.