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Cavs Rumors: ‘Would-Be’ Contenders Interested in Acquiring J.R. Smith
- Updated: December 23, 2018
When the Cleveland Cavaliers indicated last month that veteran guard J.R. Smith would no longer play for the team, they were hoping to deal him away quickly. Though a trade has yet to materialize, one report indicates that some postseason contenders could be looking at Smith as a stopgap option for bolstering any playoff run.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders points out that Smith likely wouldn’t finish out his four-year contract with the team that acquires him:
“The Cleveland Cavaliers have kept no secret of their desire to move on from J.R. Smith and there seems to be some interest from would-be contenders in landing Smith for a postseason run, and then waiving his partially guaranteed deal this summer.”
That deal, which Smith signed in October 2016, is paying him $14.72 million this season and is scheduled to pay him $15.68 million next year. However, the 33-year-old Smith is only guaranteed $3.87 million of next year’s amount, a sacrifice that some contending teams would be willing to make.
Smith burned his bridges with the Cavaliers organization when he accused them of tanking this year in order to obtain a high draft pick in the June selection process. The team had previously looked into dealing away the streaky veteran, though his contract served as the main drawback. However, at this point, the Cavs are likely looking to take whatever they can get for the disgruntled shooting guard.