Although the New York Knicks are believed to be favorites to sign free-agent, J.R. Smith, Chris Paul of the Clippers believes that they have a good chance of bringing him to the Clippers, according to ESPN Los Angeles.
“I think the chances are very high,” Paul told reporters Monday.
“My relationship with J.R., Kenyon’s relationship with him and Chauncey’s relationship with him (help).” Paul told reporters, “Also he knows he’ll have the opportunity to play here. He can only make us better.”
The 26-year-old veteran signed with a team in China during the NBA lockout when it seemed that the 2011-12 NBA season would not take place. Due to international basketball rules, most players who signed deals in China were not allowed to leave to return to the NBA without buying out their contracts completely. Smith is expected to become available this week.
Smith is also being sought after by the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers, and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Clippers are currently in third place in the Western Conference and first in the Pacific Division with a record of 17-9-0. They are 9-7 in the conference.