Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post responds to the rumor that the Nuggets are looking to trade shooting guard J.R. Smith by saying they’ll “eventually” be able to move him. The problem, says Dempsey, “is his baggage.” Smith’s reputation as a hothead with a questionable basketball I.Q. precedes him, which could scare potential suitors. Still, as Dempsey points out, his $6.7 million expiring contract is cap-friendly.
Dempsey’s conclusion? “[E]xpect the Nuggets to continue to try to move him.” It’s tough to argue that point.
A source close to the situation said the Nuggets are looking to trade the erratic Smith, who is entering the final year of a contract that will pay the shooting guard $6.03 million.
There have been trade rumors before about Smith since he joined the Nuggets in 2006, but they have lacked validity since Mark Warkentien, once Denver's vice president of basketball operations, was adamant about not trading Smith.
But with Warkentien gone, Smith's protector is no longer around to save him. Once the Nuggets have a GM place this probably becomes one of the top priorities for the teams.