Longtime NBA shooting guard JR Smith did not play for very long atop the highest level last season after parting ways with the Cleveland Cavaliers after a mere 11 regular season appearances and four starts in 2018-19. Now looking for his next NBA home, there are several teams that could use Smith’s services as both an option off the bench and for some additional three-point shooting prowess.
However, Smith is quite the character so the seasoned sharpshooter won’t just fit on any team from around the league. As a result, it is more than likely that Smith watches the opening few weeks of the 2019-20 regular season from his couch while injuries, lack of depth or another unexpected occurrence unfolds somewhere throughout the league.
With that being said, there are currently three franchises that could benefit from the presence of Smith right off the bat.
3. New York Knicks
The New York Knicks appear to be on the upswing as the typically dismal Eastern Conference franchise has immersed itself in a major youth movement.
However, instead of attempting to land a high-end free agent this offseason, the Knicks added a slew of veteran role players to the mix while J.R. Smith could make a triumphant return to the “Big Apple” to provide a young team with some additional three-point shooting and a veteran presence in the locker room.
The Knicks are also lacking a true shooter, especially off the bench, which could surely be provided by Smith even in limited minutes.
Having already suited up for the Knicks, Smith’s personality would no doubt resonate with the passionate New York fans once again.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Although the lasting memory of LeBron James and J.R. Smith will be bewilderment from the NBA Finals from a few years back, this duo was certainly fun to watch with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Despite the fact that James is now a member of the once-heralded Los Angeles Lakers, perhaps a reunion on the West Coast could be in order as the Western Conference franchise could use a bit more firepower in terms of shooting.
It is no secret that James thrives when he is surrounded by shooters. With former New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis in the fold with the Lakers to handle everything on the inside on both ends of the floor, the perimeter is one of the few weaknesses for Los Angeles at the moment.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder are an interesting team due to the fact that the Western Conference franchise has lost Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook over the years.
However, the Thunder currently house veteran point guard Chris Paul in addition to both a slew of future NBA Draft picks and formidable role players.
Because the Thunder were immediately able to rebound despite trading away the aforementioned Westbrook to the Houston Rockets over the summer, perhaps adding J.R. Smith could solidify the team’s depth along the bench.
Smith would obviously aid the Thunder’s three-point shooting at the guard spot while Paul isn’t getting any younger and the seasoned signal caller eating up tons of minutes probably isn’t the best strategy for Oklahoma City.