(FortCollins-CO) According to www.hoopshype.com
, and other various sources around the league, J.R. Smith will be traded to the Denver Nuggets for Howard Eisley and two second round picks in next year’s draft. The deal is structured so that J.R. Smith, who was just acquired by the Bulls in the trading of Tyson Chandler to the Hornets, will be sent to Denver and the Bulls will waive Eisley in order to sign Adrian Griffin to a three year deal. The last pieces of the puzzle in this trade are Smith clearing a physical exam and packing his bags for the Mile High City.
This deal is nothing short of pure genius for the Nuggets. J.R. Smith is a young shooting guard that has extremely explosive athletic ability. He can shoot the three, take his man off the dribble, and finish on the fast break. Smith, 6’6” and 220 lbs, could be the missing component that was absent from the Nuggets last year and acquiring him for Howard Eisley keeps all the Nuggets nucleus intact. So if, and when, this deal goes down the Nuggets will have a starting five of Miller and Smith in the backcourt, Carmelo on the wing, and Camby and Nene in the blocks. I still hope that Kenyon Martin can be pawned off for another contributor, but I can already foresee his numbers dwindling even if he remains in the powder blue through next season.
On another positive note, Smith doesn’t carry an astronomical contract. The Nuggets have already signed Nene and Carmelo to long-term deals and its no secret that the NBA luxury tax cut off is 65 million dollars. Smith would only cost the Nuggets 1.39 million for the 2006-07 season and doesn’t put the Nuggets in the red.
Oh, and one more thing, the Nuggets are essentially giving up nobody to land J.R.! As I already stated the core of the team remains unchanged. So in my assessment, the Nuggets can only improve by making this deal a reality. Having only played two seasons in the NBA and only averaging 21 minutes per game, Smith is posting averages of 9.2 points, 1.5 assists, two rebounds. He shoots 31% from behind the three-point arch and 75% free-throw shooter. If all that wasn’t enough… Smith is a high-flyer, so Nuggets fans can expect the team to continue to be ranked first in the league when it comes to alley-oop finishes next year.