When rumors of the Knicks putting JR Smith on the trade market earlier this week hit the internet, most just chalked it up as a scare tactic. But with the benching last night during the Knicks win over the Heat, some have started to give more credibility to that story. Former NBA coach of the year, and current ESPN analyst, George Karl says there is a team out there with an interest in smith and they have considered signing him before. Hit the jump.
Karl said Smith has “a skill that championship teams need” and suggested that he might be better off with a team of veterans such as the Spurs or Heat. “There’s that possibility,” Karl said. “I think right now that’s the position if I was J.R.’s agent [I would take]. I would be looking at a culture where there would be more peer pressure.” Karl also said the Spurs have been interested in Smith in the past. Smith was a free agent over the summer and signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Knicks. “I know San Antonio has always liked J.R. Smith and I know they’ve thought about bringing him in,” Karl said. “San Antonio doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.”
He is right that the Spurs rarely make mistakes when it comes to players they sign. JR Smith could absolutely help a championship contending team with his play as long as he knew he had to answer to other guys on the team, which is really not the case in NY right now. Keep your eyes on the Spurs making an offer as we get closer to the trading deadline next month.