It doesn't appear he'll receive the same early clearance Kenyon Martin did, but J.R. Smith is already mulling where he'll sign when he returns from China. According to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, Smith is considering the Knicks, Clippers, Lakers, Thunder, and Bulls.
Those five teams have varying amounts of money left to spend on free agents. Since the Clippers agreed to sign Martin using their room exception, they could only make Smith a minimum offer. The Lakers are in the same boat. The Bulls have their $1.9MM bi-annual exception available, and the Knicks still have their $2.5MM room exception. The Thunder have the most money available, with about $4.5MM of their mid-level exception remaining. According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, the Spurs also have some interest in Smith, though it's not clear if he'd consider signing in San Antonio.
The 26-year-old Smith signed a one-year deal to play for China's Zhejiang Golden Bulls during the NBA lockout. He isn't expected to be allowed to sign an NBA contract until his team's season ends, which could happen as early as mid-February. Smith's stock certainly hasn't dropped at all in China — he dropped 60 points in a game earlier this week to increase his season scoring average to 33.9 points per game, according to Sportando.