Not they needed another one, but the San Antonio Spurs will not be adding another guard to their rotation, at least not right now anyways. Former Nuggets guard J.R. Smith (who the Spurs were reportedly interested in) has reportedly elected to join the New York Knicks, according to several reports including Fox Sports.
“The Knicks were in the final stages of contract discussions with free agent shooting guard J.R. Smith Thursday, one day after he became eligible to sign with NBA teams.”
Smith was apparently deciding between the Knicks and Clippers, but Smith is a New Jersey native and the Knicks were able to offer him about three times as much money as the Clips could. A projected Knicks starting five now has Jeremy Lin at point, J.R. Smith at shooting guard, Carmelo Anthony at small forward, Amar’e Stoudemire at power forward and Tyson Chandler at center. At first glance this looks like a solid line up until you remember that Tyson Chandler is the only one fundamentally sound on defense. Smith is solid defender when he wants to be, but often times can get caught gambling for steals.
Two years ago, a guy like Smith is exactly what the Spurs needed. A gunner of the bench that could be the fourth scoring option and pace the second unit with one or all of the Three Amigos on the bench. Now, the combination of Danny Green and Gary Neal have the ability to do almost all of what Smith does, but come at a smaller cost and aren’t, you know, crazy.
What say you, Spurs fans? Happy to see Smith on another team, in another conference, in another time zone.