It’s now obvious that Mike Woodson and the New York Knicks are dissatisfied with J.R. Smith. After a $50,000 fine from the NBA for “recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct” and a game against the Miami Heat where Smith played for zero minutes, the latest reports state that the New York Knicks are searching for ways to trade him away.
The 28-year old guard is recording one of the worst seasons of his career up to now. His shot selection is awful, he seems like he has lost almost all of his motivation and on top of that, he is behaving really strange as of lately. The main reason for his fine was the fact that he untied the shoelaces of some of his opponents. One could even say that the New York Knicks have shown too much patience up to this point.
Apart from his weird behavior, J.R. Smith is averaging 11.4 points per game to go along with 35.4 percent shooting from the field and 34.8 percent from three-point range. All three numbers are way below his career averages. Smith is attempting more three-pointers than two-pointers this season, which also tells much about his will to play up to his potential.
Smith’s situation becomes even weirder, considering the fact that he clearly has much talent and he could to return back to his normal. But the Knicks can’t afford to waste more of their time and energy dealing with J.R. Smith. His behavior simply doesn’t fit to an NBA player.
Certainly, due to the latest events and the path Smith’s career has taken the trade the Knicks are exploring will not come easily. Apart from his performance, Smith is also in the first season of his three-year $18 million contract. It will be nothing but easy for New York to find a team to trade with and for sure, the exchange the Knicks will receive won’t be of a big value.
The Detroit Pistons could be a potential landing spot. Certainly, Detroit has a backcourt with much depth which consists of Brandon Jennings, Rondey Stuckey, Will Bynum and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. However, Detroit certainly needs a good long-range shotter. Despite Smith’s struggles this season, he could significantly upgrade the Pistons’ firepower from outside.
The Denver Nuggets is another team that could possibly deal with New York. The Nuggets want to trade away Andre Miller and he could be a good fit for the New York Knicks. Nevertheless, the Nuggets can score better than Smith with Andre Miller as an asset. On the other hand, J.R. Smith would be an upgrade to Randy Foye.
The Sacramento Kings are shopping Jimmer Fredette or Marcus Thorton, as the latest reports state. In fact, they are willing to trade them away to receive Andre Miller from Denver. If Smith ended up in Sacramento, he would have Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins as his teammates, an unbelievable combination and a really tough one for any coach to handle.