JR Smith in a Denver Nuggets jersey may not be as far fetched as many think, especially with Wilson Chandler recently signing with China.
Chandler was one of the many young players that the Nuggets were hoping to build around, and while it is still a possibility that he returns, it is also turning into a similar situation as Linas Kleiza in 2009. For those that don’t remember, Kleiza signed to play with Lithuania for the 2009-10 season and when he returned to the NBA he opted to sign with the Toronto Raptors and the Nuggets decided not to match – even though he was a restricted free agent.
Denver Post’s Chris Dempsey brought up the idea that the Nuggets may be more inclined to resign Smith to be their spark off the bench again. His energy is very valuable and when he is on he is extremely dangerous.
Of course the question may be more along the lines, does Smith want to play for George Karl? It isn’t a secret that the two don’t exactly see eye to eye. Smith plays a more free style type game that Karl doesn’t necessarily care for. And would Smith stay with the Nuggets, even if another team offers him a starting job and more money?
When the NBA lockout is lifted (whenever that will be), it will be an interesting offseason for the Nuggets as they weigh the pros and cons of their free agents, as well as the free agents that are on the market.
And while it would be surprising to see Smith back in a Nuggets jersey, a player that may get some interest from the Nuggets is Tracy McGrady.
Yes, the same McGrady that was a seven-time All-Star and the same McGrady that couldn’t lead his team out of the first round. While his better days are behind him, he played a very valuable role for the Detroit Pistons last season as more a facilitator and not the team’s go-to player – which seemed to be the motto of the Nuggets last season. Their only issue was they lacked a closer. While his better days are behind him, McGrady still has the closer instinct. And he would give the young Nuggets squad another veteran leader.
McGrady finished last season, nearly injury free, and averaged 8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists a game in a reserve role for the Pistons.