After giving up Marcus Camby for next-to-nothing earlier this summer, the Nuggets finally have something positive to show for it.
On Friday, the Nuggets re-signed their top free agent – J.R. Smith to a three-year deal worth a guaranteed $16.5 million. J.R. evolved into the Nuggets best bench player and a top-flight NBA 6-man over the past couple of seasons. J.R. set Nuggets team records last season for highest three-point field goal percentage (.403) and most points in a game in a non-starting role (43). He also led the NBA in three-point field goals per 48 minutes (5.3) and twice made 7 three-pointers in a single quarter. In the playoffs last year against the Lakers, J.R. continued to perform at a high level – averaging 18.3 ppg in 27.0 minutes per game in the four game series.
Very nice to see the Nuggets retain an athletic talent on the rise, and not over-pay for it. The Nuggets had some horrific deals earlier in this decade – think Tariq Abdul-Wahad and Cory Alexander, but this is definitely not one of them. Hopefully, J.R. will do his part and continue to work hard and continue his accension into the higher echelon of NBA players.