DBB reader Zach sent me this note from A. Sherrod Blakely's latest article:
The Denver Nuggets have discussed trading J.R. Smith to Detroit for Flip Murray. However, there are a couple of issues that make it unlikely the deal will be completed.
Detroit wants to include Ronald Dupree, which isn't necessarily something the Nuggets want. In addition, there are some concerns on Detroit's part about whether Smith, who has had his share of problems on and off the court, would be a good fit with their current roster.
In terms of talent, Detroit would win this trade in a landslide -- nothing against Murray or Dupree, but Smith has jaw-dropping potential, both running the floor and shooting from long-distance. But as Blakely alludes, there are concerns both on and off the court.
On the court, he's a bit of a gunner and he might not appreciate having such a limited role with the Pistons. Plus, he's pretty much a straight-up shooting guard, whereas Murray can pitch in at point now and then. He's had an up and down preseason, and George Karl has been riding him hard -- I personally witnessed Karl complain about Smith's decision-making ability to the media following last Sunday's game.
Quick aside: Smith didn't impress in the first game against the Pistons, scoring 13 (4-13 shooting, four turnovers, six fouls), but he put on a show in Wednesday's game with 33 points (10-19 shooting, 10-15 from the line).
Off the court, there are red flags. I don't know if he's a problem in the locker room (no one but his teammates can answer that question), but he's already had to apologize to his teammates once in training camp What for, exactly? No one seems willing to say. Plus, the kid needs a chauffeur. That's not a joke, it's a sad and tragic fact. Traffic accidents happen, but not nearly as much to people who are careful.
If the Pistons did acquire him, it'd be bad news for Arron Afflalo. So much for the youth movement, right? Well, Smith jumped directly from high school three years ago, where as Afflalo played four years in college. So Afflalo, who's 22 years old, is actually a year older than Smith. (update: I just glanced at their ages on their ESPN profiles, but I should have checked the months: as pointed out in the comments below, J.R. was born in 11/85, Arron 10/85, so they're the same age.)
If I had to guess, though, I'd say the chances of this trade are slim, especially since the Nuggets already have 10,000 players in camp and probably aren't willing to do a 2-for-1. But bear in mind, this isn't the first time Detroit has expressed an interest in Smith, so you never know what might happen.