Denver Nuggets guard J.R. Smith is on the trading block, according to an AOL FanHouse report. Smith, a six-year veteran, is entering the last year of a contract that will pay him $6.03 million this season.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This relationship wasn't ending well.
J.R. Smith has always had a contentious relationship with Denver Nuggets' coach George Karl. Smith is new school; Karl is old school. Both are stubborn.
Things are so bad that they don't speak directly, communicating through an assistant coach. Such an arrangment is dysfunctional, so it's no surprise his expiring contract is available.
The timing isn't surprising, either. Smith is Carmelo Anthony's close friend. For years, the Nuggets' franchise-face protected Smith like a little brother, ensuring the organization tolerated his immaturity.
Lately, Anthony, who can opt-out of his contract and become a free agent next July, has been linked to trade rumors with the New York Knicks. His time in The Mile High City is ending, as an extension is unlikely.
Anthony's uncertain status has made moving Smith a possibility. Other dominoes will surely fall once 'Melo's situation is clarified.
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