J.R. Smith Can Return Around All-Star Break
For now, China’s letter-of-clearance rule still stands for Smith, Chandler and Aaron Brooks. Smith’s team has slumped, and could miss the playoffs. If so, Smith could return to the NBA by the All-Star break in February. Chandler and Aaron Brooks are on teams that could make playoff runs well into March.
Smith is an unrestricted free agent, and Chandler and Brooks are restricted free agents, likely to re-sign with Denver and Phoenix, respectively. Smith has significant interest around the NBA, including the Lakers, Knicks, Spurs and several more potential contenders.