J.R. Smith is a Jersey product--Millstone Township and St. Benedicts Prep of Newark. He was a player the Nets coveted in the 2004 Draft with Rod Thorn saying back then that he wouldn't have had to sell the team's first round pick if the 6'6" Smith was available.
Instead the Hornets took him and for months it looked like he was bound for the Rookie of the Year honors, but he and Byron Scott had a volcanic relationship. He later got into trouble with the law. In 2009, he spent time in jail for causing an auto accident that killed his friend. His relationship with his next coach, George Karl, also devolved and at times they weren't even speaking.
Now the Nuggets want to dump the 24-year-old and DIME's Aron Phillips thinks Smith's hometown team should take a chance, listing the Nets as the top destination. "New Jersey needs some experience and depth at the shooting guard spot," Phillips writes. Smith, whose scoring averaged dropped from 15.4 to 11.2, has an expiring deal worth $6.757 million.