Wednesday , Nov , 05 , 2008 Oly Sandor

The New Answer? J.R. Smith a key to Detroit Pistons-Denver Nuggets trade

With Iverson gone, Smith is suddenly a starter, which means an increase in minutes, attempts, and notoriety. And newly-acquired, pass-first point guard Chauncey Billups will be feeding him the rock and, at times, encouraging the energetic pro to slow down …

The New Answer? J.R. Smith a key to Detroit Pistons-Denver Nuggets tradePatience is a virtue, I guess. Lost in the Allen Iverson trade is the news Denver’s J.R. Smith will finally get his.

With Iverson gone, Smith is suddenly a starter, which means an increase in minutes, attempts, and notoriety. And newly-acquired, pass-first point guard Chauncey Billups will be feeding him the rock and, at times, encouraging the energetic pro to slow down.

Getting to this point wasn’t easy. Smith was once a polarizing controversy –think Sarah Palin with tattoos and a headband. Many coaches chained him to the bench, citing his poor attitude and decision-making.

Last year, he took a massive step forward, finally maturing into his talent. So I wasn’t surprised by recent comments from George Karl. The veteran sideline boss claimed Smith’s rapid development factored heavily into the decision to move Iverson.

“The minutes problem that I was having with A.I. and J.R., I thought would be consistently (frustrating to both players)," Karl said. "No question (Iverson) wants to play 40, and cutting him to 34 to 35 would have been a challenge.”  (Rocky Mountain News)

Some like this deal for Denver because they believe Smith is ready. Ready to command a bigger role and ready for stardom. After years of indifference, I’m coming round on the former prep-to-pro star. This is Smith’s moment. His game is blossoming and he will have an elite table-setter in the backcourt.

It’s now or never time. Smith must prove the doubters wrong and reward management’s patience. Opportunities like this never come twice.

Is Smith the key to the Denver-Detroit blockbuster? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of no, i have no idea.