NBA Rumors: 5 Teams Who Need to Grab J.R. Smith
Rumors have been swirling of teams interested in the seven-year NBA veteran, who chose to play over in China while the NBA lockout was on-going.
Smith's team in China, the Zhejiang Golden Bulls, were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention the other night, and Smith should be available to return back to the NBA once their season finishes up on February 15.
He would be a no-brainer for teams looking for an up-tempo and electrifying scorer to give them a boost heading into the playoffs.
Los Angeles Lakers
Chris Chambers/Getty Images
Smith would help Bryant with the scoring load, as well as provide a threat from behind the arc that could lessen the pressure on Bryant, Gasol and Bynum that will be so evident during the playoffs.
Smith also guards fairly well, something the Lakers have yet to prove to some teams. Many fans got a glimpse of that last night at Madison Square Garden.
New York Knicks
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Jeremy Lin may have just saved the New York Knicks' season, but if they want to make the playoffs and effectively contend while there, they will acquire J.R. Smith.
They are reportedly interested in doing just that.
Once Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire return, focus will be back on them with the addition of Lin. But adding Smith to the mix, possibly off the bench, would turn this team into an immediate threat against any of the Eastern Conference's elite.
Smith would become the fifth weapon on this team and provide another high-flying energy player to go along with Tyson Chandler.
The Knicks would be both fun to watch and be a legitimate contender to boot. That formula equals winning basketball.
Los Angeles Clippers
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
It is hard to even identify a more electrifying and exciting team than the Clippers, but adding Smith to the team would be a must-see in Los Angeles, as if they are not already.
If the Lakers are the best fit for Smith and the Knicks have the most demand for Smith, then the Clippers are where everyone wants to see him go, based on highlight reel probability.
Griffin, Jordan and Smith is too much for one gym to hold, but I would not be opposed to watching Paul have a field day with them every single night.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The Bulls have the best record in the NBA, but they would be wise to acquire J.R. Smith to help boost their playoff run. The playoffs are about big shots at big times and Smith would fulfill just that.
The Heat are the favorites in the Eastern Conference no matter what seed they eventually get, but the Bulls may just be an electrifying scorer away from being right there with them.
As it seems, Chicago does not have enough to beat the Heat in a seven-game series, but Smith will give them that big-play ability to possibly get them over the hump and into the NBA Finals.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
No one is sure just what to make of the 76ers this season, although they appear as legitimate NBA Finals contenders. They seem to be those one or two players away from actually doing some damage in a possible Eastern Conference final against the Heat or Bulls.
Is J.R. Smith that guy?
Yes, and it would be great for the franchise to take him away from a team like the Knicks or Bulls in the process.
Smith provides an excellent three-point shot and can help add to the defensive side of the ball, as well, which will only further the 76ers chances of making it to the Eastern Conference Finals.