While the San Antonio Spurs and several other teams await free agent Kenyon Martin’s decision on where he will suit up this season, there is another free agent reportedly on the Spurs’ radar — J.R. Smith.
Smith, like Martin, played in China during the NBA lockout and is now trying to plead his case to make it back to the NBA despite the CBA’s (Chinese Basketball Association) rule that no locked out NBA players could return to the NBA until the CBA’s season is over.
However, once Smith is released from playing in China, could the Spurs be the next destination for Smith?
According to Yahoo! Sports, San Antonio has significant interest in acquiring the free agent swingman.
Smith is an unrestricted free agent, and Chandler and Brooks are restricted free agents, likely to re-sign with Denver and Phoenix, respectively. Smith has significant interest around the NBA, including the Lakers, Knicks, Spurs and several more potential contenders.
If true, then this is an interesting move by San Antonio. Currently, the Spurs have swingmen James Anderson, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green (who has been playing well for the Spurs) on the roster which means adding Smith would take away minutes from these players. Not to mention Smith isn’t a “team-first” kind of player, is a gunner, and isn’t a typical Spurs-type player on and off the court.
However, this isn’t the first time the Spurs went after Smith.
Several years ago, the Spurs went after Smith when he was playing with the Charlotte Hornets. San Antonio offered Brent Barry but were unable to get the deal done due to paperwork not being submitted before the trade deadline.
I can’t see the Spurs adding Smith to the mix. The more pressing concern is still adding size to the roster (Martin or Chris Kaman) and not another small forward-guard. Smith may be able to fill the basket but he may not be much of a defender for San Antonio and again, Green is playing well for the Spurs and I would hate to see his minutes decrease due to Smith being added to the roster. Not to mention once Ginobili returns to action, the Spurs will be more than set at the swingman spot.
What do you have to say Spurs fans? If the report is true, would you like to see Smith added to the roster?