JR Smith and the Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to end their relationship Tuesday morning, according to the Athletic’s Joe Vardon. Vardon also reports that the breakup is ‘amicable’ with no talks of a buyout at this time.
The breakup is ‘amicable,’ the source said, and the two sides are not working on a buyout at this time https://t.co/MF6zcKc2Wk
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) November 20, 2018
The Cavs are going to try and get as much value as they can out of the former sixth man of the year, but it’s hard to assess his value with such a small sample size this season. He’s been vocal about his displeasure and the Cavs have minimal leverage when it comes to a deal for him.
We all saw how he ended last year in the Finals, but who knows what the wingman has left. You could presume a team that wants a heat-check type of guard off the bench could be in the market for him but is he worth a heavily protected or late first round pick? A second round pick? It’s unclear but the lack of expressed interest around the league could be a sign.
Smith and the team are working to find a trade partner for the veteran guard. Until a trade is found, he will continue to work out on his own away from the team.
Smith, 33, recently admitted to Jason Lloyd of the Athletic that the Cavs (2-13) are tanking.
“I don’t think the goal is to win,” Smith said. “The goal isn’t to go out there and try to get as many wins as you can. I think the goal is to develop and lose to get lottery picks. I think that was always the plan.”
The Cavs released a statement thanking Smith for helping the team win a championship in 2016, via ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
Statement from the Cavaliers on JR Smith: ” pic.twitter.com/WHTo8etdj6
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) November 20, 2018
In recent news, Smith found himself in some trouble after taking and throwing a fans phone in New York. He was found at fault and was essentially told to pay for a new device. Smith also got into some problems with the Cavs earlier this year when he threw soup at an assistant coach.
Smith will continue to get paid the $14.7 million he is due this season away from the team. He received a huge four-year $57 million contract after the 2016 Finals following a holdout that lasted into October. The 15-year veteran has averaged 6.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists this year for Cleveland. The Cavs are currently last in the Eastern Conference.