J.R. Smith might be the next name on the Cleveland Cavaliers to move on from the now-struggling franchise.
Just days after the team fired head coach Tyronn Lue, Smith has gone on record as stating that he desires to be traded.
According to Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal, Smith says it’s hard to even put on a Cleveland jersey right now.
In another twist, Smith could see himself fined. That would be because he might have violated the CBA by publicly insinuating he wanted a trade request, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
This isn’t exactly shocking. Smith is one of several veterans on the Cavaliers’ roster that is being shopped around in trade talks around the league. It also doesn’t help that Smith was one of several veterans that Lue was trying to play over the youngsters, a decision that reportedly led to his firing by general manager Koby Altman.
Despite having served as the Cavs’ starting shooting guard for all four of their NBA Finals appearances, Smith’s playing time has dipped big time in the post-LeBron James era. He not only lost his starting job, he’s also appeared in just four of the team’s seven games this season, averaging just 12.0 minutes per game.
Smith still serves a role as a three-point specialist, which means he still has a place in this league even as he enters his 15th season. However, with the Cavaliers clearly rebuilding and LeBron no longer in the picture, Smith simply doesn’t have a purpose on the 2018-19 team.
Trading the former Sixth Man of the Year as soon as possible will only be beneficial for both parties.