It’s official. JR Smith is going to audition for his next contract as a New York Knick. And yes, I agree that JR will have decent fantasy value in scoring, threes, and steals, especially in the DAntoni high octane fastbreak system. So which players gets pinched for minutes with JR riding into the Big Apple? Many fantasy analysts are predicting that Landry Fields fantasy value will take a big hit. But I wouldn’t drop him (not just yet anyway) and here is why:
1.) Jeremy Lin + Landry Fields formula = Wins
Since the emergence of Jeremy Lin the all around game of Landry Fields has benefited. After winning 7 straight games, Landy Fields playing along side Lin has seen his PER and production averages increase: 12pts, 6 boards, 4.2 assists, and 1 steal. So if you are DAntoni’s shoes, why mess with a good thing that is working? Plus, the Harvard and Stanford nerdy alumns are best friends. They are the Sheldon and Leonard (my selfish Big Bang Theory plug. Love that show) of the league.
2.) Smith is NOT taking shots away from Melo when he returns.
All the drama about Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin meshing when he returns is all the talk of sports radio. Really, I don’t see that being an issue and Melo will get his shots. Probably better shot selections too with Lin running the point and taking the double teams away from Anthony. It worked with Chauncey in Denver and NY last year. I see it happening with Lin. So with Lin, Anthony, Stoudemire, and Chandler in the lineup, are there really enough touches for JR Smith in the first unit? Probably not.
3.) Smith instant offense as 6th man makes the Knicks team that much deeper.
The players I see getting pinched for minutes here are Iman Shumpert, Toney Douglas, Bill Walker, and Baron Davis (if he ever returns). I see JR getting the most of his 20+ minutes from this second unit. Shumpert’s great defensive presence will still keep him on the floor, but I see Smith doing most of his work as the 6th man like he did in Denver.
JR Smith will have value and help your team in scoring, threes, and steals and give your team a boost down the stretch. But be wise on the player you drop to make room for Smith, especially for the teams currently rostering the Knicks pre-JR Smith players.