Nuggets re-sign sharp-shooter Smith with multiyear deal

Updated: August 22, 2008, 9:16 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

DENVER -- The Denver Nuggets re-signed guard J.R. Smith to a multiyear contract on Friday.

NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein that Smith received a three-year deal worth a guaranteed $16.5 million.

Smith averaged 12.6 points for the Nuggets over the past two seasons and was a restricted free agent after receiving a one-year qualifying offer from Denver worth $3.04 million. The Nuggets would have had seven days to match any offer sheet Smith received but managed to reach their own agreement with the 22-year-old.

Part of Denver's motivation in shedding center Marcus Camby's contract in a much-maligned trade with the Los Angeles Clippers last month was ensuring that it had enough financial wiggle room to retain Smith. The Nuggets carried the league's fourth-highest payroll last season, coming away with a luxury-tax bill of nearly $13.6 million and a second straight first-round exit for the Allen Iverson-Carmelo Anthony-Camby trio.

Smith shot nearly 40 percent from 3-point range last season, which represents the best percentage in team history for players with at least 100 3-pointers.

Smith was acquired from Chicago in 2006 in exchange for Howard Eisley and two second-round draft picks. He was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in the first round and 18th overall in 2004.

Information from ESPN.com's Marc Stein and The Associated Press was used in this report.