DENVER, CO - APRIL 25: J.R. Smith #5 of the Denver Nuggets reacts after scoring against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Free Agent Guard J.R. Smith Decides On New York Knicks Over Clippers, Lakers

Smith played the last five seasons with the Denver Nuggets.

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NBA Free Agents 2012: J.R. Smith Chooses New York Knicks Over Los Angeles Clippers, Lakers

After starting his 2012 season over in China, former Denver Nugget J.R. Smith has chosen to play for the New York Knicks rather than the Los Angeles Clippers according to ESPN, rejoining some former teammates in Denver, most notably of course Carmelo Anthony.

J.R. tweeted the fact he's heading to the Big Apple, earlier on Friday, exclaiming 'New York it is!" as he prepare's to re-enter the NBA. No contract terms were readily available, but the Knicks offered J.R. Smith a pro-rated stake of a $2.5 million mid-level exception, as well as a player option for a second year.

New York will have to make room for his arrival with seldom used Mike Bibby and Renaldo Balkman as possible candidates, but will also have to fight for minutes that coach Mike D'Antoni frankly doesn't know where they'll come from:

"We'll see, but that'll be a hurdle we'll get over," D'Antoni said after Friday's shootaround. "Obviously, he's a talented basketball player and you can always use talent. But basically it's not going to change up a whole lot what we're doing."

Smith mulled over the possibility of coming West to join the Clippers or Lakers, and had offers from their team's as well, but ultimately decided on New York. And the media attention surrounding the team lately with Jeremy Lin, I's sure J.R. will do his best to make his presence felt there.

For more on the Clippers head over Clips Nation.


Are Clippers, Lakers Still In Play For J.R. Smith?

Whatever his plans are after returning to the United States, free agent guard J.R. Smith isn't telling anybody, at least not year. Despite reports earlier Thursday of the former Denver Nuggets guard signing with the New York Knicks, Smith has at least kept open the possibility of signing with the Los Angeles Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers, at least superficially.

Smith returned to the U.S. from China on Thursday, and has been tweeting fans and friends online for most of the evening. Apparently his deal with New York is not yet done, as his Twitter page shows "NYK? LAL? LAC?" as his biography:


Earlier on Thursday, Clipper Darrell tweeted "WELCOME TO LOS ANGELES" to Smith, and Smith retweeted it and added, "Thanks." One wonders whether Smith simply landed at Los Angeles International Airport and was simply accepting the welcome as one to the city and not the team.

Whether Smith ultimately joins old teammates Chris Paul, Kenyon Martin, and Chauncey Billups in Los Angeles remains to be seen, but at least he shares a fondness of them from afar. Smith was watching the Clippers play the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday night, tweeting, "Watching the clipper game in the airport! #lovetheUS."

Is Smith simply stringing along Los Angeles as his agent crosses the t's and dots it i's on Smith's contract with New York? Who knows? But we will find out soon enough.

To discuss Smith signing up with the Knicks, head on over to Posting and Toasting. To talk about how Smith could've fit in with the Clippers and where L.A. should go from here, check out Clips Nation.


J.R. Smith Reportedly To Sign With New York Knicks Over Los Angeles Clippers

J.R. Smith has had a decent enough time in China this season, but it's time for him to rejoin the NBA ranks. For a long time, Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers seemed like one of the most logical destinations for him to regain his NBA luster in a prominent role as one of the main bench players.

However, he seems to have found another interesting fit for him, as he's about to team up with Linsanity in Madison Square Garden. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports.

Smith's agent, Leon Rose, met with Garden Chairman James Dolan following Wednesday's Knicks' win over Sacramento to finalize a contract. It is believed that Smith, who has also attracted the interest of the Clippers, will receive the Knicks' $2.5 million exception. Rose also represents Anthony, who has lobbied the club to add Smith, an explosive scorer who can also be erratic at times. He has averaged 12.5 points per game over seven NBA seasons.

Whether Smith starts or comes off the bench remains to be seen. He does provide the Knicks with quality depth they'll need as they move closer to the playoff grind.

While the Clippers aren't going to be reeling backwards from this free agent decision, it will limit their options offensively with Caron Butler and Randy Foye their primary two guard options. Neither is a bad player, but they lack the swag and hot hand of Smith who can fill it in when he's out. Of course, the downside to Smith is he can derail his team if he doesn't reel it in.

To discuss Smith signing up with the Knicks, head on over to Posting and Toasting. To talk about how Smith could've fit in with the Clippers and where L.A. should go from here, check out Clips Nation.


Los Angeles Clippers In Contact With J.R. Smith

The Los Angeles Clippers are probably one or two pieces away from being a title contender. Chris Paul is the field general for the team, and he has Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan accepting lobs and becoming forces inside. Caron Butler and Mo Williams have proven to be solid scoring options on the outside. However, the Clippers did lose Chauncey Billups for the season, which could be a crucial loss come playoff time as the team now lacks a tested playoff scorer.

Free agent guard J.R. Smith could fill that need. And it seems as if Vinny Del Negro feels the same way. Dan Woike of the Orange County Register filed this report.

Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said that he has spoken with unrestricted free agent J.R. Smith about joining the team. Del Negro called it a "very, very good" conversation, neglecting to share any details.

Smith, a 6-foot-6 wing, would help replace some of the scoring the Clippers lost when Chauncey Billups ruptured his Achilles tendon last week in Orlando

Smith is supposed to be back in the United States tomorrow. And if this talk is substantial, the Clippers could have that solid slasher they've so desperately needed to play off of Chris Paul.

To discuss the possibility of Smith being a Clipper, head on over to Clips Nation.


NBA Free Agent Rumors: Clippers, Chris Paul Interested in Adding J.R. Smith, Per Report

There have been rumblings as of late that the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in the services of veteran shooting guard J.R. Smith, who is currently finishing out his season in China, once he becomes eligible for the NBA again on Wednesday. Furthering speculation, Chris Paul is openly lobbing for the acquisition.

Per Marc Stein's ESPN's report -

"I think our chances are very high," Paul said Monday night after the Clippers' 96-92 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Smith recently announced via his Twitter feed that he expects to be back in the States by Wednesday. Although the Knicks can offer a prorated share of the $2.5 million mini-midlevel exception for the rest of the season, whereas L.A. can't pay more than the veteran minimum, Paul believes the presence of three of Smith's former teammates on the Clippers' roster and the minutes and shots opened up by the season-ending Achilles injury suffered by Chauncey Billups will be strong lures.

"Who knows J.R. better than me?" Paul said of Smith, his teammate for two seasons with the Hornets. Referring to Kenyon Martin and Billups, both of whom played with Smith in Denver, Paul attributes his optimism to "my relationship with J.R., Kenyon's relationship with him and Chauncey's relationship with him. Also he knows he'll have the opportunity to play here," Paul said. "He can only make us better."

As noted above, the Clippers are expected to have some competition in the form of the Knicks, who can pay Smith more, but are hoping that familiarity and fit are higher on his priority list.

For more news and information on the Clippers, be sure to read Clips Nation.


Clippers Are The Best Option For J.R. Smith

The Clippers need size on the wing, and Smith is by far the best available free agent who fills their need.


NBA Free Agent Rumors: Clippers Targeting J.R. Smith, Per Report

Smith is eligible to return to the NBA on Wednesday, February 15.

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