Knicks looking to trade J.R. Smith, what teams should look to acquire him?

JCooper Cooper
JCooper Cooper
Senior Analyst

After having a pretty much controversy free season in New York last season, J.R. Smith has turned back into well, J.R. Smith and the Knicks seem to have had enough of the antics. Some seem to feel like he's going to be hard to move but I disagree because in this day and age in sports, talent seems to always trump tantrums, and there is always someone out there willing to take a chance on a headache believing that they can be the aspirin that the previous team wasn't. There are plenty of teams that can use a player that can score in bunches like Smith can. I think a team like the Thunder could really use him right about now due to the Westbrook situation, and that's only one of many in my opinion.

What I would like to know from you all is if you were a team owner would you green light going after Smith? And if so, what teams do you think would be a good fit and what would you offer the Knicks if you were that said team?

Mark Bruty
Mark Bruty
Analyst

Here is a guy who most teams would have taken a flyer on last season, but this season he has done nothing but hurt his trade value in a big way. His antics on and off the court are detrimental and his scoring, shot percentage and basically production everywhere is down. Sure, there are a number of teams who could use last season's JR Smith, but not many have use for the knucklehead now. Sad thing is, when he was balling last year he looked really good - now he's a mess. Ironically the Thunder could do with both Bynum and JR Smith - but since OKC is very culture conscious, it won't happen. Detroit could move Chauncey and get JR Smith, Atlanta could move Lou Will and get Smith, OKC could move Thabo and get Smith, the Bucks could move Mayo and get Smith. All possibilities but all very unlikely.

JCooper Cooper
JCooper Cooper
Senior Analyst

@Mark Bruty I like the Atlanta call a lot, they could use a player like him over there. I still think OKC should make a move. I think getting him in an winning situation and out of the crazy New York market would do wonders for his antics. The Clippers could use more scorers with the loss of Paul and Reddick and I think Doc is the kind of coach that could keep him in check, plus they have plenty that they could offer in return. Keeping him out of trouble living in the city of Los Angeles might be a bit of a problem though lol

@John Camacho - A gm would do it mainly because he's in his mid-20's and one of the better scorers in the game

Mark Bruty
Mark Bruty
Analyst

JR Smith would be a great fit for OKC. We need the long range shooting and the ability to have a scorer when KD and Russ sit. Still - idle hands are also the devils work, so he might get in just as much trouble in a small market! Clippers would be interesting, but those bright lights of LA - wow.... could get messy.

Hasad Golden
Hasad Golden
Analyst

What about Memphis? They could definitely use a player like Smith on their roster. A swap for a player like Ed Davis would make some sense

Mark Bruty
Mark Bruty
Analyst

Great point @Hasad Golden - Memphis are in need of that perimeter shooting and some additional offensive firepower. Having just traded for Courtney Lee though, he kind of fills that role without being a total culture killer!

John Camacho
John Camacho
Senior Columnist

Seriously, every team should say no. Tell me a general manager that will trade a player or draft pick for another player who was recently fined for "recurring unsportsmanlike conduct", had knee surgery in the summer and who in 2013-2014 has a 34.8% Field Goal percentage. Not to mention the fact that, from Howard Beck's reporting, Smith makes, "$5.57 million next season and $5.98 million in 2014-15, with a third-year player option at $6.4 million." If you sign Smith, especially to a city or team that he does not enjoy, he also has zero incentive to play for a bigger contract because his contract is set for the next 3 years.

John Camacho
John Camacho
Senior Columnist

@@Mark Bruty could be right with the Milwaukee Bucks. They are clearly a team that is trying to tank this year and adding J.R. Smith's 34.8% Field Goal Percentage could do the trick.

JCooper Cooper
JCooper Cooper
Senior Analyst

@John Camacho - A gm would do it mainly because he's in his mid-20's and one of the better scorers in the game. I'm not necessarily saying that I would do it but GM's take chances on players with behavioral issues all the time when they have the type of talent that Smith has. Someone will take him.

John Camacho
John Camacho
Senior Columnist

@Jason Cooper, Yes. I agree that someone will take J.R. Smith. The Bucks and other such tanking teams would take him.

Aditya Trivedi
Aditya Trivedi
Senior Analyst

I think a contender like OKC or a middle pack team like Memphis will take a gamble. Both need bench play and while he can't be efficient…..or smart……a change of scenery would definitely help him out a great amount. I could see them or maybe even someone like the Nuggets would take him back because the Knicks are desperate for post players or big men in general.

Mark Bruty
Mark Bruty
Analyst

I agree with you @Aditya Trivedi on principle, but the risk of blowing up a cohesive team unit scares me. JR Smith while a fair talent, has not performed this year - for whatever reason (knee surgery, drugs, headcase etc) and the likelihood of him turning that around in a small market or on any team he doesn't want to play for is slim. I don't even think a contender or winning environment would help change his attitude.

John Camacho
John Camacho
Senior Columnist

OKC is an awkward choice. People already criticize Russell Westbrook for taking bad shots and not passing enough to Kevin Durant. And now the suggestion is that Westbrook AND J.R. Smith would be a good tandem. Two ball dominant guards who don't like passing, take bad shots and can be careless with the ball on a team with the second best player in the league named Kevin Durant.

But wait, what if you think that J.R. Smith would come off the bench? You may even say, "Surely, he wouldn't start." Smith would help with scoring off the bench while Westbrook and KD are out.

You may be right about this idea, especially since Smith won Sixth Man of the Year Award just last season. However, J.R. Smith would have fooled you again, because he's been already vocal about starting and forced his way into the Knicks lineup this season. A decision that has hurt the Knicks' defense.