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Re-signing J.R. Smith: What's taking so long?...

Going back to May, Denver Stiffs has been advocating the re-signing of shooting guard J.R. Smith, a restricted free agent this summer. And yet here we are on August 15th and Smith has not officially been re-signed. To quote the man himself: "I really don't know what's going on."

So what is going on?

Over a week ago, I wrote that the Nuggets are actually being smart not to throw a lot of money at Smith unless he gets an offer from another team, and I'm standing by that. Yeah, that's right, I'm siding with the Kroenke Cronies on this one. I know its an obvious statement, but why pay more for something than you have to?

For those of you anxious to see Smith re-signed, please consider this: bidding against ourselves produced the $43.3 million contract given to Tariq Abdul-Wahad in 2000, the ghastly trade-and-sign for Kenyon Martin in 2004 (and no, it's not Martin's fault that he got the big contract, it's Kiki Vandeweghe's) and the current $60 million deal given to Nene in 2006 by the Kroenke Cronies, making him virtually untradeable.

Sometimes GM's will give players big contracts to scare away all other suitors, like the Nuggets did with Nene and the Warriors did with Andris Biedrins this summer. But with this strategy, you risk overpaying your player to the point that you cripple your salary cap flexibility. And with the Nuggets in a cost cutting mode, they clearly don't want to throw a lot of money at Smith unless they're forced to match someone else's offer.

The better strategy - and its the one being deployed by the Kroenke Cronies right now - is to publicly announce that you will match any offer thrown at your player. This, combined with Smith's history of off court problems, seems to have scared other teams away from offering Smith a sizable contract.

So we as fans just have to be patient, wait for the other NBA teams to max out their salary caps and then look for the Nuggets re-sign Smith to a reasonable contract keeping him in a Denver uniform for the next few years. Oh, and hope that Smith doesn't sign with a European team!