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.