Houston Rockets Rumors: Acquiring JR Smith won’t help improve the team

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08: JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08: JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets have had an absolutely miserable season so far. They are searching the trade market for help but JR Smith won’t be the guy to provide it, here’s why.

This season has been absolutely terrible for the Houston Rockets. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It is simply unfathomable that a team that won a franchise record 63 games last year and was largely unchanged could be sitting under .500 25 games into the season and in 14th place in the Western Conference.

The team really lost only Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute from last year’s squad as people who regularly contributed. They added James Ennis and Carmelo Anthony to replace them. Ennis has been solid but not great and we all know the fiasco that the Melo addition turned out to be.

Regardless, this is still a team that boasts the reigning MVP and perennial top player in James Harden. Harden has still been incredible this season but he hasn’t had much help. Clint Capela has been very solid but a traditional center isn’t able to elevate a team much in today’s NBA. Chris Paul, on the other hand, has struggled to find his rhythm this year and hasn’t been the same guy as last year.

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The Houston Rockets just haven’t been deep enough to compete with almost anyone else in the league. So, they’re currently seeking a trade for help along the wings and a deal has been considered ‘imminent’ for a while now. There could potentially be a lot of options available but one of the names that has been consistently linked to the team is J.R. Smith.

Smith is currently in a situation with the Cavaliers similar to what Melo and the Rockets are going through. He is not with the team and hasn’t played a couple of weeks. So, this makes him readily available and a contract, I’m sure, Cleveland is ready to get off of the books.

Smith has been known and received acclaim for offensive prowess off of the bench. He is a former sixth man of the year back in the 2012-13 season and he is a career 37% shooter from three. He also averages about 12 points per game on about 27 minutes per game.

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While that, on the surface, appears like it could be a solid addition, this writer doesn’t believe that it would be. Smith is a good scorer but he is a volume based, streaky shooter that isn’t going to be able to slide in seamlessly with a team that already has a lot of mouths to feed with Harden, Paul, and Eric Gordon.

Essentially, this signing could turn out to be very similar to the Melo signing just at a different position. Smith was never a star and go-to option like Melo but he doesn’t offer a lot without the ball in his hands. That’s not the type of player the Houston Rockets need to be adding in order to salvage this season.

In addition, Smith is also not really known for being a solid locker room presence and a good glue guy for an organization. The Rockets really need to be looking for a guy that can contribute, yes, but that also has high character and can come in and help reinvent the locker room that just isn’t enjoying basketball right now.

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Adding Smith could be considered a pretty flashy deal that has name recognition and notoriety but this isn’t the move to make to catapult the Houston Rockets back to the top of the Western Conference and back into the playoffs.