Monday, August 23rd, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  108 responses

J.R. Smith Being Shopped?

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Carmelo Anthony has dominated the rumor mill out of Denver this summer, but it may be another potent wing scorer on the Nuggets who ends up making actual news.

According to FanHouse, the new folks in charge of managing the team in the Mile High City are seriously considering trading J.R. Smith, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer:

A source close to the situation said the Nuggets are looking to trade the erratic Smith, who is entering the final year of a contract that will pay the shooting guard $6.03 million.

There have been trade rumors before about Smith since he joined the Nuggets in 2006, but they have lacked validity since Mark Warkentien, once Denver’s vice president of basketball operations, was adamant about not trading Smith. But Warkentien’s contract was not renewed earlier this month and Smith’s biggest supporter was gone. It was Warkentien who acquired Smith in 2006 from Chicago for the low price of two second-round picks and the non-guaranteed contract of Howard Eisley, who was waived.

It might be a surprise if Smith is still with the Nuggets past the February trade deadline.

Despite his obvious talents, Smith’s career in Denver to date has been volatile, to say the least.

Assuming things don’t change on his end a whole lot by next season’s trade deadline, it might make plenty of sense for both he and the Nuggets to part ways.

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  • Ali

    First the melo madness now their KEY spark plug! Let the dismantling of one of the dominant western conference teams begin!!!

  • andrew

    His volatility goes all the way back to when he was with the Hornets with CP3.

  • J.C.

    Maybe a good trade might encourage Melo to stick around.


    Next on SportsCenter, Ric Bucher reports on the JR Smith to the Heat for Wade trade. *JR Smith’s alarm clock goes off* On the serious note, I wonder what kind of offers the Nuggets will get for their poor man’s version of Roger Mason.

  • ConeyIslander

    Poor man’s Roger Mason?! JR Smith would eat Roger Mason alive and then get a tattoo to commemorate the destruction!

  • tavoris

    I can’t imagine him going to any team who also passed on AI or TMac. He probably is a bigger headache than both of those dudes.
    It’s crazy, because his talent should have him RIGHT BEHIND KOBE AND WADE in the best 2′s in the game.

  • tavoris

    @Coneyislander-Smith would probably KILL Mason if he’s hot. But when he’s off (which is often), it’s a pretty quitable assessment. He shouldn’t even be in the discussion with Mason. He should be a dominant scorer. However, he’s probably the biggest underachiever in the L right now.

  • Young C

    He just plays zero defense and just want to pull up from half-court all day.

  • http://www.twitter.com/BigFutureLg ElGee37

    Smh good luck getting another offensive talent like him for so cheap smh and on top of that him and melo are really good friends so melo might just be upset about that…owell let the dismantling of denver begin…


    tavoris speaks the truth.

  • http://www.twitter.com/BigFutureLg ElGee37

    There is no one in the league with J.R.’s ability h is one of the few who can be in the dunk contest and 3 point contest, with a chance of winning both…he’s a created player straight out of 2k10

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    If you have ever watched the Nuggets play you guys would know he is a hell of a passer and an above average defender when he wants to be. Whoever said he is a poor man’s Roger Mason should also be banned from ever discussing basketball again…

  • Ronald

    I wish the Spurs would make a trade for this guy.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Welcome back, Marcel. We missed you.

  • The Philosopher

    All J.R. Smith needs, in my opinion, is a coach that he respects.
    Not trying to flame at anyone, but if J.R. Smith played for the Spurs last year, would he have gotten off of the bench?
    Would he have gotten off of the bench more than Roger Mason Jr. did?
    Just a question.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    San Antonio turned down a trade for this guy a few years back when NOH wanted Brent Barry in return…

  • Groves

    Why is my denver on the brink of rebuilding after such a strong run of great seasons

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    ok…can you all stop putting JR Smith and Roger Mason in the same sentence.


    @Kap: you’re just a sensitive Earl JR Smith fan lashing out. Real talk.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    J.R. Smith would eat Roger (I played well for Spurs one season) Mason for lunch. I like J.R. Smith game, and like someone else said, he can play defense when he wants to and is a willing passer, who if wanted to could get more assists per game, but Smith role on the Nuggets is a hired gunner, who tries to kill teams with back to back to back threes or impossible hot streaks. He does need a coach he respects, I would love to see him on the Bulls with Rose or on the Hornets with Paul. But him on the Magic playing with Howard would be awesome. Next the Nuggets will be shopping Billups, so Lawson can take over the starting point guard spot. BOOK IT!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    I actually dislike JR Smith as much as I dislike Lebron so I am definitely not a fan. I’m just speaking the truth.

  • Overtime

    Makes sense for Denver I guess. Smith can be a great spark off the bench and can really turn games around. But does anyone else get the feeling that Denver feels theyve got the most they can get from him?

  • george w. buckets

    rudy for J.R.??? not sure if that’s possible with salaries, but it would definitely benefit both teams

  • C-Mac

    As a Nuggets fan I like JR’s game, if he could be a bit more consistent he’d be a much better contributor. If they are going to trade him, I hope they can get a decent trade for him that might help convince Melo to stick around.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    I can see JR being a good bench player for the Jazz. They lost Brewer, Matthews, Korver.

  • The Philosopher

    I want Michael Jordan to get him.


    JR Smith in a Nutshell: In just these past 2010 playoffs, with the Nuggets on the road at Utah, in a must win game, JR was goofing off during shootaround trying trick shots (right in front of the Jazz coaching staff), and then JR goes on twitter and calls his team out saying if you play selfish you lose selfish? LOL Coach Pop didn’t want to gamble on JR a few years back as a restricted free agent. I’m quite sure Coach Pop doesn’t regret that decision. Some hoops guru once made the assertion that JR Smith is a million dollar talent with a ten cent head…comparing him to Steve Francis. Wow. I won’t go that far. I still think there is a chance he becomes special elswhere in a new situation with a new coach who can connect with him. In the end, I wish JR Smith the best on the court, and on the links. BOOK IT!

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    @ seed.. what are you talking about? im pretty sure the nuggets know what they want from JR, and im sure that’s not just a stand-still gunner.. everybody knows it’s on JR.. and he will have the same role if he’s on orlando!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    JR Smith cannot “play defense when he wants to.”
    He can COMPETE on defense when he wants to, but he actually lacks all defensive fundamentals and is basically out there getting by on physical talent. He only looks good because his physical talent is that impressive, so he can get by against marginal players without having the fundamentals. When he goes against true talents, he gets exposed quickly.
    But, dude can ball. He can’t go left that well, but he’s a beast going right, ala Sprewell and Stackhouse. His jumper is dangerous every game, even when he seems off. He finishes well at the rim, and before the past few seasons he was a very good free throw shooter.
    Dude just sucks at basketball IQ, and already appears to be losing some of his athletic ability, which doesn’t bode well for his career. I mean, he has the potential to be great, but I doubt he ever will be.

  • unrel

    there’s a lot of “could be’s” and “if he wants to’s”.. that’s not basketball… bottom line.. he’s a head case (not in the ron artest way either).. he hurts the team more than he helps.. yes he can put up numbers and give sportscenter a top 10 play every few games.. but in the playoffs.. he can lose games for you with just idiotic turnovers, techs, and firing up 3s.. he’s the type of dude that’ll hit a 3 in the middle of the first qtr, throw up his Bs and swag around.. he hasn’t matured.. all that reminds me of JR “where am i now?” Rider..

  • gabe asher

    J.R. Smith is a chemistry killer – my 9 year old niece is more mature than him. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s broke 2 years after he’s out of the L. Type A moron.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    I’m sorry Allenp but JR is a nice defender. Two seasons ago George Karl was lobbying for him to get votes for DPOY.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m sorry Kap, I disagree so strongly I wish there was a way I could convey it online.
    JR Smith is horrible at defense.
    1. He rarely tries hard.
    2. When he does try hard, he lacks the fundamentals and basketball IQ to really be great.
    Good defenders do well against the best players. Contrast what Grant Hill did against Kobe to what JR Smith did. Grant forced Kobe to take many difficult shots, and generally was aware of his help and steered Kobe towards it. Sure, there were times when Grant got somewhat embarassed, and Kobe hit some great shots, but overall, for someone who is not known as a great defender, Grant did well.
    Kobe destroyed JR Smith whenever the Nuggets even considered letting him guard Kobe to the point where Smith just looked confused and sad on the floor. This happened because JR Smith’s fundamentals are horrible.
    As JOhn Wooden said “Never mistake activity for achievement.”

  • http://google c_cantrell

    would love to see him with the bulls or maybe even the magic

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    I’m just saying we all know that he could be the third best SG in league if he matured and did not only care about money and his social status i.e Young Money. He has all the tools to be a great offensive player and good defensive player but he has yet to put it all together even though he has shown glimpses of being great on offense and good on defense. But for now he is just Ricky Davis 2.0. I can’t stand the guy but I know he is talented and he could be great if he got his mind right and began paying attention to the minor details of the game.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    We don’t disagree on his talent.

  • Coney Islander

    Roger Mason
    7.2 ppg 1.8rpg 1.5apg
    JR Smith
    12.5 ppg 2.6rpg 2.0apg

    Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.

  • Peter

    I actually like JR, he can get hot like nobody’s business…but those were seriously his numbers and he just made $60M?!?


    @Coney Islander:
    Mason revealed he had hand surgery after the season to repair a torn tendon near his pinkie that affected his shooting last season. Mason said he played with the injury most of the season.

    “In D’Antoni’s system, you can’t have enough shooters,” Mason told The Post from the Knicks kids summer camp on the Upper East Side. “That’s my strength. I thought this was the best opportunity for me. I’ve been to the playoffs four straight years. I came here to be a solid defender and knock down some shots. That’s the role I can have. I’ll start or come off the bench, whatever it is.”

    Mason had an off year in 2009-10, falling out of the rotation in the playoffs. Mason had shot 41 percent from 3-point range in 2008-09 when he started for injured Manu Ginobili.

    “I tore the tendon in the middle of the year and tried to fight through it,” Mason said. “But the biggest thing was a healthy Manu Ginobili. The year before, I started the whole year. We won 54 games. We had a great year. I can’t argue. Manu was healthy. My situation changed.” WOW, THAT’S 42 PERCENT from 3 point land by Money Mase with a healthy hand whilst feeding off of a great low post presence (Duncan). I’m going to go out on a limb, in a New York state of mind and surmize Money Mase can do that with a healthy hand and feeding off of another great low post presence (Amar’e) in New York. BOOK IT!


    *surmise … oops

  • Jordan

    I don’t know why, but when I’m reading some of these posts I’m reading them with Skip Bayless’s voice. Some of you guys sound like Skippy.

  • dsleepy21

    mason is good. i remember watching him in dc before he went to the spurs and i was mad we let him go. but his output that he produced his one good year in san anton was reaching a little bit imho.


    Is it a really a “reach” to suggest Mason’s injured shooting hand coupled with less minutes of playing time (Manu healthy) may have had an negative impact on Money Mase’s output/performance for the Spurs this past season? I think not.

  • Javy

    Guys like him are viruses to the league. He’s another Isaiahh Rider-Marbury-Iverson kind of player.
    Yeah, they’re good to watch but won’t get you a title.They grow up with that basketball mentality of I-am-the-best-motherf******er in this league: guess what….they never change!!!

  • Overtime

    J.R Smith as the 3rd best SG in the league? hmm I dunno?
    So really we’re saying he could push for third team all-NBA?

  • http://twitter.com/flavaklav Klav

    what would be crazy is something like thinking what the meshing of JR with Durant would be. could u guys how their attitudes would greatly differ if they were on the same team? the most humble guy next to one of the most emotionally potent dudes. then again OKC doesnt need another wing. what team would be a good fit for him?

  • dimo

    if he wasn’t so unmotivated and dumb he could be the best player in the league. he has so much talent but he’s just not trying.

  • Yawn

    If he had somewhat of a decent basketball IQ he would have been an all star. I just don’t see him changing at this point

  • total scrotal implosion

    He can pass very well, but thats not his role in denver. If he went to a team where he startd and could show his all around game, he would be seen as more than just a gunner. ……. Denver is falling apart

  • robz


  • http://google c_cantrell

    yes and no.. yeah smith would be good along side durant but then again look at the chemisty okc has.. it wouldnt take long for smith to start screwin it up.. if he fixed his attitude he would be a great fit to this team tho

  • Coney Islander

    As a Knick man lord knows I hope Roger Mason becomes the second coming of MJ (may be a bit of a stretch, sue me! lol) but him and JR are different breeds of animal. JR is in the “BREAK IN CASE OF EMERGENCY” category. Those are players you have on your team like a Manu or Jamal Crawford who can come off the bench get hot and provide instant offense or on some nights win you a game!

  • http://google c_cantrell

    why are u guys talking about mason and smith as if they are in the same category? insane

  • http://eatmydick Triple Double

    Hey why don’t you all see how many times you can write the exact same thing as the person above you…


    @unrel: Just saw your post for some reason. Good comparison. J.R. Rider and J.R. Smith are brothers from another mother. lol

  • Deezy

    I just feel bad for Chauncey.

  • total scrotal implosion

    I know this, wherever jr smith goes, the birdman has to go with him, its in their contracts.

  • JTaylor21

    I serioulsly think that JR Smiths is right up there with the SGs in the league when it comes to PURE talent. Dude is a straight up beast when he’ shot, very athletic (Allenp what the hell are you talking bout him losing his athletic ability; dude is still 25 or 26 and has many miles left on his tires due to him not being a full-fledged starter), underrated passer and is a TOP-5 shooter in the NBA. If a team like the knicks were smart they would trade for him in a heartbeat and make him a starter. Dude will put up 25 ppg without breaking a sweat in D’Antoni’s offense. He just needs to be given freedom on offense and he’s not gonna get that in DEN with some guy named Melo there.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    JR has a great basketball body, JR has abundance of talent nobody is denying that. But people face it he is a infant, a dumb infant actually. He will never get better, he is simply to mentally challenged to ever get ‘it’. I use to be a fan and had high hopes, but people don’t go fooling yourselves; he’ll never change. What you see is what you get. ESPN highlights yes. Being a important cog at a championship-caliber team no. If I was a coach/director I would want him to stay far far away from my team.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    He is however fun yet frustrating to watch when hot.

  • JTaylor21

    Also who ever said that Roger Mason was better than JR Smith needs to be locked in a room with Bill Walton and be FORCED to listen to him talk basketball for hours. Seems like a reasonable punishment

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    The Raptors should trade for him, he could probably average 25 on the Raps and maybe lead them to an 8th seed.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    @ Jtaylor21. JR is a good shooter, but top 5. Get real he is way to streaky to be even close to top 5. Of the top of my head; better shooters than JR: Durant, Ray Allen, Korver, Dirk, S. Curry, Kobe, Nash, Redick, J. Terry, Melo, Billups, Mike Miller, E. House, Morrow, Mo Williams, P. Pierce, A. Brooks, D.Williams, J. Crawford, Gallo, R. Lewis, Mayo, W. Matthews, Dragic, Boobie Gibson, George Hill, Manu, Steve Blake, heck even Matt Bonner is at the same level – don’t let his hot-streak crazy 30 foot pull-ups fool you. To be a great shooter you have to be able to hit 3′s, midrange and freebies.

  • JTaylor21

    Damn LZ that’s like damn near the whole league. Let me philter down that crap for you; Kobe, Terry, Melo, Billups, Miller, Mo “disappearing act” Williams, Pierce, Brooks, DWill, JCraw, Gallo, Lewis, Mayo, Dragic, GHill, Manu, SBlake and Welsely F*cking Matthews are not better pure shooters than JR not one bit. You act like he’s the only shooter in the league that runs hot and cold. Also JR also hits midranges and has improved his free throws the past few years. Dude is one of the best shooters hands down and people forget that he came from highschool also (so much for american high school players not being able to shoot). NO straight out of high school player can touch him when it comes to shooting

  • http://Slamonline.com Negativekreep

    The only guy that SHOULD be mentioned as the guy that “should be the #3 sg” is Gilbert. But in REALITY it’s B Roy, and Its not really even close after that. I like JR, he’s raw, but thats also kinda why I don’t ever see him getting close to being in that #3 spot. More like a raw beefed up Jason Terry 2.0.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7xlzLOZH5c Th3_R3al_Chris

    Poor Man’s Ricky Davis is more like it.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Not the whole league, but he is not nowhere near Top 5 like you claimed. Improved his free throws you said? JR shot 70% last season, pure shooters don’t shoot 70% from the line. You are just plain wrong, blinded by the fancy looking 30 foot pull-ups. JR’s career field goal %: Freebies: 74%, 3′s: 37% and 2′s: 42% – not exactly impressive Top 5 shooter numbers. Mike Miller for instance (just to name one of the guys you rate as a worse shooter) careers stats: FT’s: 77% 3′s: 40% 2′s 46%. Like coney island said earlier numbers don’t lie, oh and Mike shot 48% from 3 last season compared to JR’s career best season of 40%. Concerning straight out of HS, as much as I dislike Kobe he is a way better shooter than JR, and T-Mac was on another planet until the injuries set in. And to everybody saying JR could be Top 3 SG in the league, don’t forget B.Roy, Manu and even a guy like Mayo who have all had better careers/seasons than JR has ever been close to. He is a ‘could-have’ player, he’ll never get there. If he comes back next year and averages 25 like somebody claimed, please come laugh in my face and I’ll happily eat my words. But it won’t happen.

  • Dyce

    Smith is just one of those players when he’s good he’s great and when he isnt its bad. Hard to start him because if his shot is off he still shoots without a conscience and doesnt try to impact the game in other ways while waiting for his shot to come back to him. I think a coach that believed in his ability to be more than just a microwave scorer, would do him some good like Larry Brown.

  • JTaylor21

    LZ is said that if he goes to a team like the Knicks he could put up 25 without breaking a sweat. Also I may have reached in saying that he was TOP-5 shooter but dude is DEFINITELY TOP-10. Also if you look at KBs shooting numbers for his career you see that his FG% is not that much higher than JR, he beats him handily in FT% but JR has him in 3PT%, so it’s not that big of a gap. Also if Kobe’s the great shooter that you and everyone else claims why does his shooting numbers pail in comparison to other great shooters ala MJs. I assume that we both agree that MJs a great shooter because his numbers back that up with the 49FG% for his career while a guy like Kobe only shoots 45FG%. Riddle me that.

  • The Philosopher

    You’d be intrigued about some of the things some people think about Kobe Bryant and his shooting abilities.
    Really intrigued.

  • http://Slamonline.com Negativekreep

    Jtaylor: So JR Smith is a top 5 shooter in the NBA….and he’s a better shooter than Kobe Bryant. Because he shoots a higher % 3? really, that’s your line of reasoning….ugh, OK. I love it when guys come out on threads boasting some great secret insight they have only to backpeddle on thier main point, but still try to save face with some more BS.

  • JTaylor21

    @Philosopher, I’m really intrigued. Break it down for me.

  • PSD605

    wow, just a year ago i thought the nuggets had everything together to go for the ‘chip. just one summer could possible ruin everything they built up

  • http://Slamonline.com Negativekreep

    “See to it that no one Takes you captive thru hollow and deceptive philosophy. “

  • The Philosopher

    I’m not going to name names, because I don’t want to flame.
    There is at least one commenter up here who contends that Kobe Bean Bryant is a better shooter than Larry Joe Bird.
    Now, do you believe that?

  • JTaylor21

    @Philosopher, OHH, what BLASPHEMOUS WORDS, that person was lucky that he or she wasn’t hit by a lighting bolt after that comment. You already know my answer to that LUDACRIS comment, NO. Give me a hint as to who said that crap.

  • The Philosopher

    I can’t tell you who said that.
    I love and respect SLAM to the fullest extent.
    But, the commenter did in fact, utter those words.
    Now, I still respect the commenter, for they generally bring reliable contributions and facts to most every basketball related discussion that I’ve seen them be apart of.
    They will probably come up here and offer reasons for their line of thinking concerning that subject.
    very intriguing, no?

  • JTaylor21

    I’m guessing it’s either Jukai or Bryan Crawford, maybe I’m wrong. @Philosopher it is very interesting. Kobe’s a very good shooter but people have somehow come up with the idea that he’s an all-time great shooter which is NOT the case. I’ve watched dude too many times to know that, seen him have too many 7-27, 11-31 type games. You see I’m a guy that looks at the game through numbers and on-court production instead of being blinded by love for a certain player to not state obvious facts when needed. What’s your thoughts about what that commenter said?

  • http://Www.dimemag.com Royal

    One of the reasons MJ had a higher field goal % then Kobe is because Mike did a large amount of his scoring with post ups and dribble penetration whereas Kobe likes to settle for mid/ long rang jumpshots. In my opinion Kobe is a much better shooter than JR. Kobe has an effective mid-range, long range shot to go along with better freethrow shooting and overall consitancy. I really
    can’t recall JR. Smith being effective from mid-range. But JR. might have more range than Kobe.

  • http://Www.dimemag.com Royal

    Oh and Kobe’s 11-2333333 games are usually due to his shitty shot
    selection, not his shooting mechanics/abilities

  • The Philosopher

    Well JTaylor21,
    I think what the commenter said concerning that subject was the most craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.
    And, I told them that.
    We debated for a while about that.
    I’ll be honest, I was so intrigued by the notion, that I even found myself asking questions to them… like a student to a teacher.
    It was amazing.
    I couldn’t believe it.
    It was like… a U.F.O., or something.

  • JTaylor21

    @Royal, you may be right bra. That’s why MJ is head, torso, and legs above Kobe in my opinion. Dude never took a bad shot and was one of the best moving without the ball. @Philosopher WISH I was around then to see that ish with my own eyes, so what kind of counter arguments was he saying in trying to futilely convince you.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    @JTaylor21; Just to clear it up, I never said Kobe was a great shooter (I h8 Kobe actually) nor a all-time great shooter. The only comment I made was that Kobe and T-Mac are better shooters than JR Smith. To down your claim that JR was the best shooter out of HS. JTatylor21 learn how to read what is actually typed by other commentators instead of what you think they are saying. Your act is getting boring. Throwing out a bunch of claims, afterwards backtracking on them. The guy who had the Kobe better shooter than Bird claim, must have been Jamestheballer. At least that is my best guess, dude has the biggest ’24′ shaped purple/gold glasses ever.

  • The Philosopher

    I really don’t want to throw them under the bus.
    I am wholly confident that if their ego is as big as mine, they will present their argument to you, and to other newer SLAM alumni, for both of our egos (well mine, anyway) are considerable.
    I’ll tell you the truth:
    I respect everyone’s opinion up here at the end of the day. Some opinions to one or another may or may not be viewed as accurate, or satisfactory.
    Their particular argument pertaining to the subject I thought, was entirely…
    They’ll come up here and explain it.
    It may be a little too scientific for me.

  • http://sfdjklf.com Jukai

    Kobe is a better shooter than Bird… but yeah, if you dun wanna hear the logic, you can just go ahead and bash me

  • The Philosopher

    Jukai, you are my dude, man.

  • JTaylor21

    Forgive my transgressions LZ, I actually meant to state that JR has better range and is a better 3 point shooter than both guys. Doesn’t that give him a case of being the best PURE shooter outta highschool. Also this is the first time I’ve stated a wrong claim, so don’t act like it’s a pattern. Also was the SEED around back when that statement was made because he seems like a safe bet to say something that FOOLISH. Talk about being the lakers favorite escort.

  • serevei

    just a taller earl boykins…. CLAIM

  • JTaylor21

    JUKAI go ahead and bless us with your “KNOWLEDGE” on the matter and later the bashing will began.

  • JTaylor21

    I did guess right when I thought that it was Jukai. Dude says some very resonable things but that has to be in the SLAM Hall of Shame next to every SEED comment.

  • 21

    trade jr to NY for Bill Walker

  • Ronald

    @JR’s Athleticism: Wasn’t there a clip of JR dunking in a charity game recently where he got his whole head above the rim.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    @Ronald: I don’t remember that, but I know towards the end of this past season, he had a 360 alley-oop (IN GAME!!). If I can way in on the rest of this J.R. Smith debate, I think he’s a great spark plug type player. I think he’s very, very good athlete, and he’s a very streaky shooter (fine for a spark plug guy), but I just don’t think you can put him in the same category as the pure shooters of the league. Just look at his FT%. It’s not bad, but all the truly great shooters–Ray, Nash, Dirk–are automatic from the FT line. JR is 74% for his career. Is he in the top 10 shooting guards in the league talent-wise? Yes, but his mental game–I’m thinking about bad shot selection, selfish play–will always keep him out of that upper echelon for me.

  • Shem

    Some comments are so stupid, I pitty some people’s basketball knowledge. I won’t call anyone out but JR Smith is NOT a great defender. He can get by against decent guards in the L but when he goes up against Kobe, Wade, Joe Johnson, etc. athleticism won’t cut it. Every guard in the NBA is athletic. JR more then others, but he doesn’t have the fundamentals. That being said, comparing JR and Roger Mason is ridiculous. I love JR’s game, he’s a talent and definetly more of a talented player than Roger Mason. I think it’s too soon for the Nuggets to unload. They’ve made the playoffs 7 times in a row, 2 western conference finals appearances (correct me if I’m wrong) and they’re not that old yet. K-Mart, Nene, Billups, Afflalo are definetly near the end of their career but they can still make a run at the title. If JR can keep his head straight and Denver big men can keep healthy, the Nuggets a top 3 team in the West. Spurs are still good, but old so I think their past their prime. Jazz just lost a bunch of key players. Mavericks are really my toss up with the Nuggets. Phoenix just lost Amar’e and Barbosa, being a Raps fan I don’t think Turk will make them any better (He wants to bring the ball up the court and couldn’t do it when Jack was running point, does he really think he’ll be running pick and roles over Nash?)

  • total scrotal implosion

    That was a funny thing for jukai to say originally, even funnier now with the buildup. Im sad he didnt try to explain it tho

  • http://sfjdkldsfl.com Jukai

    Alright, I’m not even sure who will see this, so I’ll do it in sh%tty bullet form:
    -Larry Bird shot an awesome percentage because the man could move without the ball awesomely and took far more reasonable shots he knew he could make, ie offensive efficiency. Neither of these do I consider part of shooting
    -Larry Bird had his spots on the floor. He knew where he wanted to shoot and he got there because he was so amazingly intelligent and moved so well around screens and had such great change of speed. Kobe doesnt have spots on the floor. He shoots everywhere.
    -If you take away those screens that Bird runs, and put two defenders on him, who are you more comfortable taking a contested shot? I’d say Kobe.
    -Kobe takes many unreasonable and awful shots. People also double team Kobe far more often than Bird becuase they’re less afraid of Kobe finding an open teammate. That’s why his percentages are lower. I do not COUNT these factors when talking about pure shooting.
    -I don’t think Kobe has as well rounded of a game as most legendary superstars. While he has ludicrous fundamentals, I question his bball IQ at times. I only think Kobe’s a fair passer so players are less afraid of double teaming me.
    Kobe survives purely on the fact that his jumper is ludicrous. Insane.
    -People act like Bird never had cold shooting nights. In reality, Bird scored a massive amount of points on smart drives, putbacks, and a highly skilled post game. Bird shot a GREAT percentage from three, and hes a much better three point shooter than Kobe, but he took far less threes than Kobe does in an average game. That’s because he takes smarter shots.
    Okay, feel free to bash me now.

  • rikson

    Kobes numbers dont tell the whole story, as he takes probably more difficult shots against double-teams than any other player in the L right now! So comparing kobes numbers to JRs says more about your IQ than about those players… geniuses!

  • JTaylor21

    @Jukai so bird is a worse shooter than kobe because he takes good shots and moved well without the ball? WHAT. So now we are rewarding players for taking bad shots and not moving without the ball and punishing does who do. That makes NO sense at all. Just come outright and say that kobe’s a ball hog who’s never met a shot he didn’t like and stop TRYING so hard to convince yourself otherwise. Kobe has nothing on Bird shooting wise just due to the fact that bird’s taller, smarter without the ball, doesn’t take bad shots, and is outright the BETTER shooter, if you disagree your just somebody who doesn’t REALLY understand the game of basketball.


    JR Smith is what coaches call a TEAM DE-ENERGIZER. He pouts, he sulks, and puts himself before the team. JR can be selfish, divisive, and he’ll from time to time make really dimwitted comments through the media/twitter. JR Smith is the guy I want shooting free throws with the game on the line, if I’m the opposing coach…he’ll brick them, BOOK IT! Nuggets fans know that’s true more times than not. Honestly, the last word that comes to mind when I think of JR Smith, is champion. He’s not even in Kobe or Wade’s galaxy. Comparing JR Smith to Kobe (GTFOHWTS), is like comparing Snooki to Salma Hayek.

  • kundai

    I think people forget that JR has just turned 25 so he still young. To me in term of immaturity JR is right there following kobes path.(for all the kobe fans im just saying immaturity). Ok Kobe bryant we can all admit only truly started getting into team play with out any backdoor mental selfishness in 2008 wen he was 29-30 years old. We al know he may have played liek a teammate to shaq but couldnt truly except shaq thus shaq leaving. Kobe would have been like an iveverson if he hadnt changed his ways with teh i am the league attitude. What differs him from JR though is he straight of competitivness hands down. JR mentaly is in teh same boat. All the intangibles to be great but his mental ability is sub-par. I think if he played on a team with a guy liek rick admine, or even popovic they could help him mature quicker before he loses some of that athletism. JR needs to mature quick or hands down one of the greatest underacheivers of all time.

  • The Philosopher

    There was a good debate about Dennis Rodman not long ago at all.
    Jukai, think of this, and, I even think you posed this same type of question, yourself.
    I could be wrong:
    Now, if Larry Bird were to concentrate on shooting and scoring the ball as much as Kobe does, would Bird still be a worse shooter at LEAST statistically, in your eyes, than Kobe Bryant?
    I’ll give Kobe this -
    If Kobe Bryant had Larry Bird’s approach to the game, in my opinion, he would STILL be a lesser shooter than Larry Bird.

  • The Philosopher

    But his overall numbers would be a little higher, and his on court production would be a little greater.
    That’s what I’ll give to Kobe.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    Actually, this JR trade talk has been going on (behind any Melo chatter) all summer here in Denver, so this is not really new “news.”

    Two years from now it might just be Ty and a bunch of new faces running around Pepsi Center.

    Personally, I’m done waiting for Earl to be productive on a consistent basis. I like the dude and get hyped when he goes off, but i’m sick of waiting.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Actually, JR’s free throws have gotten worse since he came into the league. Last year was the worst percentage of his career.
    I stand by my assessment of his athletic ability. When dude first came into the league, he was unreal as far as hops and quickness. I don’t know if he’s put in the work to maintain that, and I see a slight dropoff. But, it doens’t make a huge difference because he could lose some hops and still outjump most of hte league.
    Potential is wonderful, but Darko had potential too.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jr Smith is basically one year younger than Lebron. Two years younger than Melo and Bosh.
    He ain’t “young.” He ain’t “developing.” He is what he is.
    He’s Jamal Crawford with less handle, more hops and a slightly lower basketball IQ.
    There will be no more development. He’ll just get older. I’m quite certain about this. If you’re going into your seventh year in the League and you do the same stuff you did your rookie year, then that’s it. It’s over for you as far as development.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Actually, my bad. He shot worse free throws his rookie year, then improved, and now he’s regressed.

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