J.R. Smith has been unemployed since July when he was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers after playing only 11 games for them last season. The veteran guard should still be looking for a team to take him on, as he has turned down an offer to play in China so his sights are still on the NBA. That being said, which team would be smart to take on the former champion and sixth man award recipient, blunders and all?
Smith actually met with the Bucks shortly after being waived to discuss free agency. While they didn’t come to any sort of agreement, we can’t say that the door is closed yet. Smith is a career 37% three point shooter, exactly the type of player that Coach Budenholzer likes to surround reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo with. Along with recent acquisition Wesley Matthews, he would make a great replacement to Malcolm Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic who both left Milwaukee in free agency this summer.
The 76ers were a bounce away from making the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001 when Allen Iverson led the team to the Finals. A large part of what is attributed to their downfall in the 2019 playoffs was a lack of depth on the roster. J.R. Smith would add some welcome scoring potential off the bench and help fill the gap left by J.J. Redick, another NBA sharpshooter who left for New Orleans. Philly’s three point shooting will stabilize more and they will add another piece the hold up their championship caliber starting lineup.
Do you know who else loves three point shooting? Mike D’Antoni. After the blockbuster trade that sent CP3 to OKC in exchange for Russell Westbrook, Houston’s backcourt is now set. The Rockets now have two guards that excel at drive and kick plays; sucking the defense into the paint with crafty drives and fast acceleration and then whipping a pass to the wing for the splash. Russ has been, to put it lightly, an abysmal shooter from deep. Smith’s three point accuracy would help offset Russ’s inefficiency, hopefully decreasing the amount of shots he takes behind the arc, as well as becoming another weapon Coach D’Antoni can insert off the bench for some quality production.
There are many teams in the league that can rationalize the need for J.R.’s shooting prowess, but it is still unknown to us the fans if anyone will pull the trigger. We still have all season ahead of us to see if anyone decides that he can fill their need.
Original photo credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
For Advertising and sponsorship opportunities with The Game Changer Sports Network please contact Jake at Info@GameChangerSportsNetwork.com