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.