J.R. Smith probably isn’t the first name that pops into your mind when you think of underrated players, but he is that guy for Iman Shumpert.
J.R. Smith shared the court in some memorable years in New York and Cleveland. In fact, they were together since the 2011-12 season on the Knicks. From there they were both traded together to the Cleveland Cavaliers mid-season where they became integral parts of a championship contending team.
Neither Shumpert nor Smith were elite guards/forwards, but they provided some much needed depth and shooting for those Cavaliers teams that routinely ruled the Eastern Conference.
JR Smith is up to 9 PTS on 4-4 shooting!
— NBA (@NBA) May 8, 2018
— NBA (@NBA) September 25, 2016
Iman Shumpert labels J.R. Smith as the most underrated player he shared a court with
Iman Shumpert was asked point blank to name the most underrated player he’s teamed up with, and after a brief pause, he simply stated J.R. Smith.
Shumpert noted how he used to pick Smith in video games and would love to utilize him for his hot hand scoring approach. Shumpert isn’t wrong here. While you might label Smith as a streaky shooter, there was no doubt that when he got it going there was no stopping him.
Shumpert also spoke about J.R’s time in Denver and New York where Smith was also known for being a high-flier and electric dunker. I mean just look at some of these highlights:
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) February 8, 2020
(2014) JR Smith with the FILTHY baseline dunk! 🗣 pic.twitter.com/FYMicVsvsg
— Timeless Sports (@timelesssports_) January 19, 2020
Smith’s career best year probably came in the 2012-13 season with the New York Knicks when he averaged 18.1 points per game and shot 35.6% from three on a New York Knicks team that made the playoffs. Shumpert’s full explanation can be found here: