Cleveland Cavaliers‘ guard JR Smith told the media he would like to be traded from Cleveland this season.
As it seems now, Smith wants out and he wants the chance to compete one more time. During shootaround at the Cavs’ practice facility, he was asked if he has expressed his feelings towards the team’s executives to which he said, “they don’t want me, so they obviously know.”
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com also sheds some light on the discussions the team is having internally about a potential deal for Smith and if he formally came to request a trade.
…Sources tell cleveland.com he hasn’t officially made that request to Cavaliers management yet.
Sources told cleveland.com that after sensing poor body language from Smith and worrying about how his attitude could impact the team, Altman sat down with Smith a few days ago and asked the 33-year-old guard whether he wanted to stay around while being glued to the bench.
According to a league source, trading Smith is “easier said than done.”
From his soup throwing incident to a game one blunder in the 2018 NBA Finals to facing scrutiny from the league about a ‘Supreme leg tattoo’ and his playing time being cut down completely five games into the season, times have been tough for the former Sixth Man of the Year in Cleveland recently.
Smith has seemingly fallen out of the Cavs’ rotation as the youth begin to take over for Cleveland following the departure of LeBron James. When Smith was informed that he would be out of the rotation, he decided to stay. Seemingly once content with being a mentor for the young squad in Cleveland, it appears that he has reached the point of no return with this team.
Over the years his numbers have declined but he is still a serviceable three-point shooter, averaging .375, just above the league average of .357.
He is making $14.7 million this season and has a non-guaranteed $15 million next year. With a contract like that, you can almost expect contending teams won’t pursue Smith until the trade deadline on February 7th.