Could a J.R. Smith trade be coming?

Harris Decker

Let’s start off with the obvious: This is not breaking news, J.R. Smith has not been traded and according to no is a trade is imminent.

All that said, the major clues point towards one of two things happening over the next few days. Either Smith will be indefinitely benched, riding behind Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr. — and even Toure Murry — on the depth chart OR a trade involving the dysfunctional shooting guard is imminent.

J.R. Smith

After receiving a $50,000 fine from the league for his “recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct,” Smith was promptly benched by Mike Woodson in arguably the biggest game of the year. After sitting out against the Heat, he came off the bench to play 27 minutes vs. the 76ers (14 points, 6 assists) and 25 minutes against the Suns (10 points). Tuesday night, he was benched again and after the game Woodson and Smith gave the media mixed messages.

Woodson gave his usual when asked about Smith.

“I’m not even commenting on JR. I just didn’t play him tonight. I just didn’t play him,” he said.

This has become his go-to response when asked about No. 8. Smith had a lot more to say.

“If I’m not helping this team, there’s no point in me being here,” Smith said. “The communication from my end is over.”

Over is a strong word. One that usually eludes to the end of something. Could it be Smith’s time in New York?

The evidence that points to a trade goes well beyond a few post game sound bytes. As Jonathan Wagner pointed out after the game, getting benched, then playing well in two consecutive games (one of which featured Smith taking the final shot), then being benched again feels like it’s leading to something. There are really only two options: Benching or trading him.

Who would take Smith? There is no easy answer. Smith is obviously a huge headache but he has the ability to score when motivated and in the right system, could be a productive player. If he starts to play anywhere near his 2012-13 stats, he’s a bargain. Last year he averaged 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. At around $6 million per year for the next three years, he’s overpaid if he’s playing the way he is now. He’s a bargain if he gets it together. The all important question is if a team will take a chance on him?

110 comments
Railshock
Railshock

It's too bad we don't have Donnie Walsh around to make the trade happen

zebeto
zebeto

you all crazy wanting Miller.........we would have Beno,prigs, Felton and miller ..........Backlog in our PG aswell as our SG position ?Really ???!

johneco
johneco

People, c'mon.

Dolan did NOT lay down the law to his coach to bench JR.  No coach would accept that, not even Woodson.

JR is just constantly showing non-team-oriented behavior, and is in a horrid shooting slump at the same time, and Woodson (who has been loyal to him beyond reason) is finally sick of it.

Calling out your team for "betrayal" for cutting your sucky brother, after the team lost 2 million to gift him a contract, is insane non-team-oriented behavior.

Pouting on the bench and not cheering your teammates in the biggest win of the season when you get benched is non-team-oriented behavior.

And who knows how many other horrible lapses of behavior JR has in practice daily that we don't even see.

lindro88
lindro88

Hate to say it, but the Knicks are getting exactly what they deserve for resigning this idiot.  To all the "That money can only be spent on JR" people.... How's that working out....

madskills
madskills

If the Knicks were trying to trade JR it would actually make more sense to play him so he can boost his value (unless a trade is imminent). Having him give interviews like last night only decreases his value. He went from being 6 man of the year last year to possibly being traded for a retreated Andre Miller the next year? Only in New York!

orlando_knickfan
orlando_knickfan

http://deadspin.com/amare-stoudemire-passes-ball-to-womans-drink-1501570247

Read the comments.  One in particular


Amar'e Stoudemire: Hey Melo, see that chick in seat 13 over there?

Carmelo Anthony: Hell yea! Who could miss that dime piece!

Amar'e Stoudemire: Bet I can make her wet before the game is over.

Carmelo Anthony: Pssshhh... whatever man. Just get me the ball.

Amar'e Stoudemire: [throws ball at woman's drink]

Amar'e Stoudemire: Hey Melo, told ya so.

Carmelo Anthony: [opens Zillow app]

Carmelo Anthony: [searches "Los Angeles"]

rgm891
rgm891

Tyson Chandler is causing major issues on the offensive end man. Woodson still hasn't figure out a way to fix that! He's clearly not ready. He needs to sit more.

towlie22
towlie22

You tank games when your 10 games over 500, not 8 games under. Players should be embarrassed with their effort or lack thereof. As for JR there are more than the two options, the writer suggests. The third option is that these benchings motivate JR, and he plays better, practices better and conducts himself better. Just because they benched him doesn't mean he has to be traded or stuck to the bench. To suggest otherwise is ludicrous.

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

Woody just found out about JR's shoelace thing in the club. He still has a flip phone. News reaches him late. That's all. Lol. 


Seriously though, we play Indy tomorrow. We'll see if JR plays. He is currently in Indiana with the team so he hasn't been traded (yet). "Let the sideshow begin" Old Knick must know that old school jam :-). 

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

As Yogi said, "Deja vu, all over again."


Cue Michael Buffer. They may be ready to rumble.

We've arrived at round 12, seemingly, in a season-to-season bout between Nuggets coach George Karl and mercurial guard J.R. Smith.

Karl wants better play and more professionalism from Smith. Smith wants the chance to show it on the court.

Karl, however, is the gatekeeper, and he's not letting Smith on the court if he doesn't start doing what the coach wants.

Smith has played just one minute, five seconds in the past two games. Monday night at Phoenix, Karl benched Smith because he was late to a shootaround. His one minute Tuesday in the Nuggets' victory against the Knicks smacked of further punishment, but was due more to rookie Gary Forbes playing well.

"I think J.R. knows exactly where we're at," Karl said Wednesday. "I think right now, it's J.R. and me, and I think J.R. should understand what's going on. I've got a kid playing better than he is playing. And I don't have minutes to share."

Not helping Smith's case is the fact he hasn't found a consistent scoring touch from the field. He's shooting just 36.8 percent from the field, which is odd given the fact that he's shooting well from the 3-point line, 40.7 percent. His average of 8.6 points this season is well off of his average of 15.3 points over the previous two seasons.

Karl wants fewer poor decisions from Smith on the court, who, to his credit, has also had some good moments such as the five steals that sparked a Nuggets win at Dallas.


J.R. Smith loses playing time to Nuggets teammate Gary Forbes - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/ci_16643791#ixzz2qTtIkg6V
 

Seth Nadler
Seth Nadler

The Knicks didn't lose last night because JR didn't play, they lost last night because of awful defense, and laziness..JR is not a defender anyway, was he going to guard Kemba or Jefferson?  Jefferson going off was the surprise since you'd think between Tyson and Kmart they would have held him check, the problem is defending the pg, Shump has done well doing that, but until the knicks get a solid pg, that can defend they really only can reach a certain level

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Benching nothing new for JR. Here's one from years ago.

Karl: Smith's decisions in playoffs led to benching Updated: May 1, 2007, 6:56 PM ET ESPN.com news services

Denver Nuggets coach George Karl has had enough of J.R. Smith's postseason mistakes.

"He's done," Karl told The Denver Post.

Following Tuesday's video session, Karl told reporters that Smith was being benched for Game 5 in San Antonio. The Nuggets trail the Spurs 3-1 in the series following Monday night's 96-89 loss in Denver.

According to the newspaper, Smith's mistakes throughout the series have bothered Karl, leading to his decision to bench him for Game 5. Karl seemed preturbed by Smith's 3-pointer with 25.7 seconds left in Game 4 on Monday night with Denver trailing 93-89.

"I have no idea what planet that came from," Karl told The Associated Press. Karl said he had drawn up a play to get the ball to Iverson or Anthony.

"And then, of course the one with eight seconds to go, from 50 feet," Karl said. "I just love the dignity of the game being insulted right in front of me." 

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2007/news/story?id=2857204

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@johneco The coach is a drone. Yes, he'd bow down to Dolan if it were the case.

This is the Knicks, home of the brave and of one who rules them all. What Dolan says is ultimately what is done.

When Dolan's not happy, there's repercussions. He wasn't happy with JR's reaction, and while the coach has been his strongest advocate, ever since Dolan got a fit, JR's been benched twice. The second benching made no sense whatsoever. Completely irrational benching. You do that for two reasons:

1. You're cuckoo for coccoa puffs

2. You're under orders


I don't like the coach, but he's not stupid.

lindro88
lindro88

You are probably right.  Not about a trade being worked out, but about Dolan being the one deciding JR sits.  Woodson put him in the Sixers game because they were down 9 and he was worried that Philly could stretch out the lead.  JR played well and the game turned.  The Phoenix game, JR was still not on the court most of the 4th, until the last shot, and than didn't play at all in the overtime.  Than last night's DNP.  Clearly the owner has had it with JR.  

Josh Gabriel
Josh Gabriel

@thatsagoodpoint I got a better idea, why don't we trade JR, Aldrich and Felton for LeBron?

lindro88
lindro88

@madskills Nothing JR does on or off the court is going to increase or decrease his value.  He's been in  the league 9 years and every GM knows exactly what he is all about.  He had a career year, won 6th man of the year, and still, not one team was willing to give him a deal.  That says it all.  

lindro88
lindro88

@orlando_knickfan Funny, I was thinking that was intentional.  MSG kept that camera on her throughout the entire cleanup.  The most entertaining part of last nights game .

moneyball
moneyball

@Knicks_Fanatic

Nuggets Tell Dying George Karl They Made NBA FinalsSports News in BriefSportsbasketballISSUE     May 17, 2010  

DENVER—During a visit to his coach's deathbed at Denver Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday, Nuggets Talented JR Smith told a barely conscious, cancer-ridden George Karl that their team, which was eliminated during the first round of the playoffs this year, had advanced to the NBA Finals and was currently up 3-0 on the Cleveland Cavaliers. "Everybody's playing great, Coach, and the defense you taught us is completely shutting down LeBron," a tearful Anthony reportedly told the weak and gasping Karl, who mustered enough strength to nod his head and smile at the news. "Doctors say you're going to get better soon so you can celebrate with us at the victory parade. It's going to be—Coach Karl? Coach Karl! Nurse!"

rkj473
rkj473

@Seth Nadler I agree, but most of the problems on defense stems from out pg's (mainly our starting pg) not having the lateral quickness to keep anyone in front of him. I've often wondered why the Knicks have done nothing to remedy that (not counting the needless switching). I mean use the hard trap, instead of allowing pg's to easily breakdown your defense.

bigdishing
bigdishing

@Seth Nadler well everyone seemed tired. That's a game that decent/good teams should win. The Cats had lost 8 of 9. We didn't seem to learn much from the last time Kemba torched us. 

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@Jerry Gee 

JR has two more years left on his contract, while Miller is an expiring. That's a huge difference. Besides Denver had JR and showed no interest in resigning him. No way Denver takes him back. 

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Kiyan Carter There's no chance they walk away from either. Thompson normally plays the 2 with Barnes as a backup 3 or 4 when they go small. Why would they stray from a positive things they have going on?

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

@VerySilentJay @SheSaidSpikeWho IDK. I guess it could depend on the third team. I know Knicks Fanatic was talking about a deal with the Warriors last night. I highly doubt that JR gets traded bc he's a head case but I do think there are some teams that wouldn't suffer a great "PR hit" if they took on JR. Does Mark Jackson have enough clout that would allow the media to say, "hey, Mark may be able to teach him something"?

Kenny Kaufman
Kenny Kaufman

MELO playing 38 minutes on top of the 48 he played against Suns? 86 minutes in 24 hours! Way to go coach!

rkj473
rkj473

@Jerry Gee @Seth Nadler Yeah, I don't understand how a coach say that and admitted it, yet refused to play a couple of his bench guys to help relieve some of his regular guys.


I mean the Knicks played an OT game, then had to travel and they were on playing their 3rd game in 4 nights. That's a terrible job on Woodson's part.

Blaze NYK
Blaze NYK

@moneyball @Knicks_Fanatic Coaches get fired all the time.  Sorry, but I'm gonna believe a guy who has coached in the NBA for decades, been to the Finals, was a great pro player himself and one of the winningest coaches of all time, over some knucklehead like JR who has wasted his talents.  

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@moneyball@Knicks_Fanatic 

George Karl coached 1887 games in his career. 

Seth Nadler
Seth Nadler

@moneyball@Knicks_FanaticThis makes perfect sense, I'd love to hear Woody say something like that, like how could you forget the score, and how could you shoot a 3 when you could have held for a last shot, etc

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@SheSaidSpikeWho @VerySilentJay If anyone can really drill a new one to JR is Mark Jackson. The dude's always been a hardass and a great leader. That said, JR's a tough case to crack, and I think the only ones that can successfully help him are monsters like Pop or Doc.


Also, there are reports that Crawford (Boston's Crawford) is about to be traded. That may be the backcourt help the rumors are referring to.

lindro88
lindro88

@bigdishing @Knicks_Fanatic In this case, add up JR's terrible play, his off and now on the  court distraction, and finally insulting Dolan, who basically gave a 500k donation to Chris Smith. I can honestly say JR and Dolan deserve each other.

Seth Nadler
Seth Nadler

@rkj473@Jerry Gee@Seth NadlerYou make it sound like other teams never play back to backs, the knicks are 0-4 in the second game of a back to back on the road..whether it's fatigue, coaching, etc..that's the stat of a bad team that doesn't have heart.

lindro88
lindro88

@Knicks_Fanatic @Jerry Gee People don't seem to get it.  JR's style of play is not the issue. He is a distraction that is not worth the trouble.  The Knicks had a chance to let that distraction leave, but instead of letting him leave they signed up for 3 more years.  

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@Jerry Gee@Knicks_Fanatic 

JR is the problem, not any coach. Brian Shaw and JR aren't going to sit down and smoke the piece pipe. The Nuggets have seen his act and have moved on.

moneyball
moneyball

@Knicks_Fanatic @moneyball  What is your point? Karl> Phil Jackson??

JR is 28 and still has a shot at a ring. It wasn't his fault he didn't play last night.