The Denver Nuggets may lose out their homecoming free agent guard J.R. Smith to the league's latest sensation: Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks. According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the former Nugget may become a Knickerbocker before long:
Knicks closing in on a deal for JR Smith, Daily News has learned. Need to cut a player. Two weeks earlier and it could have been Jeremy Lin— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) February 16, 2012
The Knicks have launched themselves into the public spotlight after a seven-game win streak has put them at .500 in the 2011-12 NBA season. The team has owed much of its recent success to surprise breakout point guard Jeremy Lin, the 23-year-old Harvard grad who is averaging 23 points and 9.2 assists per 36 minutes.
Smith played in Denver from 2006 through 2011, but went to play in China during the NBA lockout. At the conclusion of the lockout, he found himself stuck in his Chinese contract and only recently has been able to become an NBA free agent. The Nuggets are not believed to be seeking his services.