Anonymous NBA Executive Rips JR Smith, Says 'Only an Idiot' Would Trade for Him

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2014

Getty Images/Glenn James

The dysfunctional New York Knicks are desperately searching for a trade partner to take problem child/low-volume scorer J.R. Smith off their hands.

Too bad the Association doesn't operate outside of New York the way it does inside the Empire State.

According to Ian Begley and Marc Stein of, the Knicks have begun exploring trade options for the reigning Sixth Man of the Year. League sources told CBS Sports' Ken Berger that the Knicks have been shopping Smith for as long as two weeks.

Bigfoot hunters will have an easier time than Knicks general manager Steve Mills. How do you find something that doesn't exist?

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Head Coach Mike Woodson draws up a play for J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks against the Chicago Bulls during the game on December 11, 2013 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly a
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"Is it April Fool's Day?" a rival executive asked's Adam Zagoria in reaction to Smith's appearance on the trade market. "Of course [they want to trade him], but only an idiot would take him. Can Steve Mills trade him to himself?"

Maybe Mills just isn't looking in the right places.

"I hear Shanghai has a spot," one executive told Berger. "Erie?" offered another.

Smith is a handful in the worst kind of way.

He recently got hit with a $50,000 fine for "recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct," via Scott Cacciola of The New York Times, the latest transgression coming when he tried to untie an opponent's shoes while awaiting a free-throw attempt—days after specifically being warned not to do exactly that.

The Knicks have put up with a lot from Smith. The 28-year-old admitted to delaying knee surgery over the summer until after he'd secured a new three-year, $18 million contract extension. He picked up a five-game suspension in September for violating the league's anti-drug policy.

But this "Lacegate" feels like a new kind of low, even by his standards:

All of his antics could be forgiven, though, if he was producing at a high level. He's not. Not by a long shot.

His scoring is down nearly seven points a game from last season (11.3 down from 18.1). His shooting numbers are down across the board, including new career lows in field-goal (34.8) and free-throw (62.8) percentage.

For someone who's made his NBA name solely at the offensive end of the floor, it's hard to figure out exactly what, if anything, he could add to a team.

Besides an unrelenting series of headaches, that is.