JR Smith: Deal Or No Deal
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JR Smith is an enigma, plain and simple. He has shown flashes of pure brilliance like when he lit up the Sacramento Kings for 45 points. However Smith has also proved he can let his immaturity get the best of him, as seen a few weeks ago when reports surfaced of him choking another player while scrimmaging at a Denver Nuggets practice facility. This incident quickly landed JR Smith on the trading block with his buddy Carmelo Anthony. Finding a new home for the volatile Smith will be quite the challenge as he can instantly destroy a team's chemistry. So what is the winning formula for JR's future success? Well for argument and intrigue sake lets add the Cleveland Cavaliers to the equation.
I wont relive the LeBron fiasco because the topic has been beaten worse then one of Michael Vick's dogs, but i feel its safe to say the Cavaliers are in dire straights. Cleveland is the perfect location for the JR Smith experiment. Obviously at this point in time JR is not the long-term plan for the Cavs, but with a year left on his contract he is a cheap alternative after "the one who shall not be named" skipped town. Acting as a poor mans franchise player Smith can put up big numbers, be given an opportunity to be a star and most importantly become the scapegoat for any negativity regarding the 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavaliers season.
We all know JR can score the basketball and that's why this trade makes so much sense. He will be handed the keys to a franchise in need and be allowed to fire up 25 shots a game. As a 24-year-old kid Smith has played second fiddle to Carmelo Anthony for the majority of his 6-year NBA career. If you are not a Nuggets fan and happen to see this guy play he without a doubt impresses you. His skill set consists of phenomenal athleticism coupled with a sniper jump shot and tenacious defense. . . at times. With all these tools one must ask them self: "Why isn't he a star? Whats holding him back?" The answer is simple. He has an attitude. His flamboyant, flashy, hotheaded persona restricts him from reaching full potential. Trade him to Cleveland and let him be free. From a fans perspective Smith is extremely entertaining to watch, wether it is positive or negative. Cavs fans deserve something to look forward to next season and JR Smith will provide excitement, drama and that fiery attitude that LeBron James so clearly lacked. As a reader you are probably thinking this is crazy talk but when you break down the risk vs. reward ratio it is well in favour of reward. The residual damages of losing LBJ will cripple the Cavaliers for years to come. It leaves Cleveland with a different outlook on basketball. A shift in mind set from: "We have a great chance of winning a championship this year cause we have Lebron James." to "What the hell are we going to do now? He was the best thing Ohio has had since Jim Brown." All in all, trading for JR Smth is a good way to keep fans somewhat entertained.
Unrealistic Best Case Scenario: Smith becomes a star in his own right, scoring 25+ ppg and leading the Cavs to a .500 season. Decides to lose the bad attitude and wins over the hearts of Cavs fans. Maybe even wears jersey number 23 to really piss off LeBron.
Best Case Scenario: Averages 18-20 ppg, has a couple monster nights to keep fans on their toes and leaves at the end of the season when the tension can't be cut with a knife but rather a dull spoon.
Worst Case Scenario: Smith is a total dud, averages 10-14 ppg like Hedo Turkoglu on the Raptors and actually develops a worse attitude because he can't handle the responsibility of being in the limelight. This is a pretty good worst-case scenario considering Smith becomes the scapegoat for Cavs fans who desperately need something to vent about after a franchise destroying summer.
Cleveland was doomed for a terrible season regardless of what happened after LeBron left so trade for JR Smith and give Cavs fans something better to talk about.
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