J.R. Smith returns to the NBA

Peter Drulias, Staff Writer

Throughout the NBA, there have been many main stream stories so far in the season such as the Miami Heat, the Lakers, signing of some free agents, potential playoff threats, and of course the all famous Jeremy Lin, who has come on in the past two weeks. One of the most overlooked stories actually comes from the same team, the New York Knicks. With all the attention on Lin, Stoudemire and Anthony, a big signee has been getting little to no publicity. J.R Smith, a former Denver Nugget, was acquired by the Knicks Friday the 17th for $2.5 million and an optional second year. Smith has been under the radar for a while playing in China due to the NBA lockout. He signed with the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls for $3 million contract with a no opt-out clause, not allowing him to return to the NBA even if the lockout ended. That being said, that is the reason why he found a team almost mid way through the season. Smith, in his past three years in the NBA, has been 5th in three-point percentage and with a career thirteen points a game, so he is a perfect fit got the Knicks. The New Jersey native finally is back at home and in his debut game just two days after the signing was part of the starting squad and scored a solid 15 points to help the Knicks win. J.R Smith might actually be the answer or missing piece that the Knicks have been looking for. Ever since Jeremy Lin stepped in and now can control a more fluent offense with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, Smith can be the outside man they have been looking for and are now just building for a team that has just won eight in a row and moved up to the number seven spot in the Eastern Conference after being in the ninth. Now with all the right pieces in place, the Knicks really are looking good and have a completely different look than they did in the beginning of the year. J.R Smith is definitely an impact player and can very well help the team get them to their goal at the end of the year.