Is J.R. Smith Headed Out Of Denver?

Posted by Sean Stancill | Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | 0 comments »

On Friday, the Denver Nuggets signed swingman Dahntay Jones to a one year contract filling the holes at shooting guard and further burying J.R. Smith on the depth chart if he returns.

Jones had previous stints with Sacramento, Memphis and Boston, with the Kings being his most recent. He averaged 3.2 PPG, 0.5 APG, 1.4 RPG.

In college, Dahntay split time between Rutgers and Duke, staying all four years.

Jones averaged double figures and over four rebounds per game, highlighted by his sophomore season, in which he shot over 50% from the field, and in his senior year; averaging a career high 17.7 PPG.

Jones will act as Smith's body double, inheriting the role of the Nuggets ''sparkplug'' off the bench.

Simply because of the signing, the Nuggets no longer need to pursue re-signing Smith and now are able to venture into other expeditions in bettering their team.

Another reason not to offer Smith a contract?

Why sign J.R. Smith to a one year $5 million restricted tag offer, when he will give way under the temptation of starting on another team and will be attracted to bigger money in the 2008-09 off season?

Let's look at the common ground between the two:

SG Dahntay Jones 6-6 210lbs

Drafted 2003

2007-08 Numbers: 24.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.1 BPG, 52.4% FG in the D-League

SG J.R. Smith
2007-08 Season Numbers: 12.3 PPG, 1.7 APG, 2.1 RPG, 40.3% 3PT FG

Playoffs 18.3 PPG, 1.8 APG, 1.8 RPG, 1 SPG, 31.3 % 3PT FG

J.R. Smith has career averages of 10.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.6 APG, 36.6 3PT FG

Dahntay has career averages of 4.9 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 44.1 FG%

Jones is also more coachable, and is a greater on ball defender then the often disgruntled Smith.
Dahntay Jones is just as explosive as J.R. Smith and at a cheaper price.

Aside from the Smith-Jones debate, the Nuggets are littered with shooting guards: Sonny Weems, Allen Iverson, and Linas Kleiza. All are armed to the teeth with a multitude of moves allowing them to score the baksetball.

While Sonny Weems is still unsigned, Denver invested a second round pick on him, being there's a minimal chance that he won't be signed to a contract.

By adding Jones, Smith's future on the Nuggets team is is in dire jeopardy.