NBA Free Agents 2011: JR Smith May Not Re-Sign With Nuggets This Summer
When Nuggets leading scorer Carmelo Anthony was traded to New York Feb. 22, many around Denver basketball thought that streaky bench standout J.R. Smith would be the guy to replace his minutes, and the majority of his points.
No one, I can imagine, thought this was a truer statement than Smith, himself.
After all, when hot, Smith can make shots in bunches from nearly anywhere on the court and can sometimes score at will.
But no one really knew how deep the Denver squad was going to get with the acquisitions of Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari and Timofey from the Knicks in exchange for Anthony and point guard Chauncey Billups.
I can’t imagine that Smith ever thought he’d have a harder time getting on the court than he did before the Anthony deal, but that’s what has happened, as a result of, in part, the new Nuggets emerging as scoring threats and team leaders.
And as Denver’s playoff upset of Oklahoma City chances are dwindling, so is the likelihood that Smith will remain a Nugget after the season is over.Following Wednesday night’s 106-89 blowout loss, Smith told Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post, that there was a “strong possibility” that he wouldn’t return to Denver when he becomes a free agent this summer.
"There's a strong possibility as of right now," Smith told denverpost.com. "It's not going the way I planned it to go. It's a tough situation. I want to be here, I love the fans and everything about the city. It's just maybe not my fit."
Smith’s frustration stemmed from playing only six minutes and went 1-of-6 shooting for just two points.
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