Linas Kleiza signed a two-year contract…
… in Greece. Do Not Draft!
Just a note here: with Kleiza and Dahntay Jones (Pacers) both not returning to the Nuggets this season, it means that it’s time for J.R. Smith to put up or shut up. Smith has had a so-so relationship with Coach Karl and sometimes finds himself in the doghouse, but in limited time (27.7 MIN) last season Smith had a bit of a roller-coaster of a season.
He closed out strong averaging 22.4 PTS and 4.7 3PT in the final month of the season (7 games). I don’t see four-plus treys per season in Smith’s future, but with Jones and Kleiza out of the way – it’s step-up time! It’s reasonable that Smith could score 20 points per game and knock-down 2.5 threes along the way. Also, he’s a decent rebounder for his size (5.0 REB/40) and capable of picking up at least a steal per game.
Again, there are no excuses for Smith this year and no one stepping in his way now that LK and Jones are playing elsewhere. The impact of Kleiza moving to Greece next season bumps Smith up my draft board. He needs to improve on his FT%, and if he can somehow find that touch and move back into the 80-percent mark from the line Smith could work his way into the Top 50-60.
Right now he could go anywhere from the 7th-9th rounds. If that’s the case you might be getting a better return on your investment with Smith.