As expected, the Nuggets have kept their super-athletic, three-point shooting restricted free agent who teams around the league seem to have not even bothered trying to sign because Denver was going to match any sane offer. Here’s the news release:
The Denver Nuggets have re-signed G J.R. Smith to a multi-year contract, Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. We’ll post the reported salary later tonight.
“We’re extremely delighted to have J.R. back,” said Warkentien. “His blend of off-the-charts-athleticism and long-range shooting ability is rare, especially for someone his age. We believe his best basketball is still to come.”
Smith, 22, has averaged 12.6 ppg in 137 regular season games for the Nuggets over the past two seasons – primarily as a reserve (just 24 starts). He has shot .396 (306-772) from three-point range as a Nugget, which ranks as the best percentage in team history (minimum 100 made treys).
This past season, Smith averaged 12.3 ppg in 19.2 minutes per game, while notching career-bests for field goal percentage (.461) and three-point percentage (.403). He led the NBA in three-point field goals made per 48 minutes (5.3) and twice tied the team record for three-pointers made in a quarter with seven. He scored a career-high 43 points off the bench in 33 minutes at Chicago on 2/22, setting a team record for points in a non-starting role. Smith continued his strong play in the postseason, averaging 18.3 ppg in 27.0 minutes in four games against the Lakers.
The 6-6, 220, swingman was acquired from Chicago on July 20, 2006, in exchange for Howard Eisley and two second-round draft picks. He was originally selected by the New Orleans Hornets in the first round (18th overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft.