Should Denver Nuggets Trade J.R. Smith?

Sean StancillSenior Writer IMay 5, 2008

With another first round exit behind them, the Denver Nuggets will be busy this offseason.

Among their free agents are:

Eduardo Najera

Anthony Carter

J.R. Smith

Yakhouba Diawara 

Out of the four, Smith certainly has the most value. The question is what do the Nuggets do?

Denver should organize and complete a sign-and-trade deal involving Smith in order to gain ground and address major holes in the defense and in the point guard area. 

During the regular season, Smith averaged 12.3 points and 1.7 steals per game, while shooting 40.3 percent from three-point range.

Against the Lakers, Smith averaged 18.3 points, 1.8 assists, 1.8 rebounds, and one steal per game.

J.R. also has been the main character of several team-related arguments, including a feud with coach George Karl and a disagreement with Edaurdo Najera. 

Here are several players that maybe available or on the trading block:

Jamaal Tinsley

Jamal Crawford

Jermaine O'Neal

Tinsley may be dealt away from Indiana because of his inability to stay off the injured list. However, when healthy, Jamaal is one of the top PGs in the NBA in terms of assists and assist to turnover ratio.

The Pacers need all the scoring they can get as they were in the bottom of the league in points per game. 

If acquired by the Nuggets, it would be beneficial to both teams as Tinsley will have a chance to resurrect his career and Denver will gain a veteran guard with leadership.

Tinsley averaged 11.7 points, 8.4 assists, and 1.7 steal per game in 33 games in the 2007-08 season.

Crawford happens to be the Knicks’ best player and has been bait to any team willing to send a draft pick or a 20-plus PPG player since the trade deadline.

Unfortunately for Crawford, New York is the worst team in the league and few teams want to do any kind of business with the organization as of now.

New York also desperately needs scoring as Stephon Marbury was hurt for the most of the season, Zach Randolph battled some injuries, and Eddy Curry underachieved.

Jamal averaged 20.6 points, five assists, and 1.1 steals per game.

The Nuggets need size so Jermaine O'Neal would be a nice fit.

O'Neal can score, rebound, block shots, everything that is required in a power forward. Jermaine has become tradable for the same reason as Tinsley, he's tight-walking on the lines of injury prone.

O'Neal averaged more than 20 points per game in four straight seasons. This past season, he averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game after sitting out 42 games with a knee injury.

Without a doubt, the Nuggets will be making moves this offseason, it just remains to be seen what moves they will be.