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Cavs Rumors: J.R. Smith Not Expected to Be Traded by Trade Deadline
- Updated: February 4, 2019
The professional basketball career of J.R. Smith has been in a holding pattern for more than two months after the Cleveland Cavaliers indicated that the veteran would no longer play for the team. A new report indicates that people close to him feel that he won’t be dealt by Thursday’s trade deadline.
Joe Vardon briefly looked at the status of Smith and offered this assessment:
“JR Smith, excommunicated from the Cavs since November, is still on the roster. His camp does not expect him to be traded, but is hopeful Cleveland will waive him after the deadline so he can sign as a free agent.”
The 33-year-old Smith was banished by the team after he publicly claimed that the Cavaliers were tanking this season in order to obtain a high draft pick. Prior to that edict, Smith had played in 11 games for the Cavs this season, averaging 6.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
It’s doubtful that the Cavaliers could get much at this point for a streaky 33-year-old guard who hasn’t played since scoring two points in six minutes on Nov. 19. In addition, his checkered past has seen some off-the-court issues surface, though that was largely held in check while with the Cavaliers.
The Cavs would like to trade Smith in order to remove his still-burdensome contract off their payroll. This season, the team is paying Smith $14.7 million to not play anymore and is technically scheduled to pay him $15.7 million next season. However, he’s only guaranteed $3.87 million of that amount, which means that the Cavaliers or whatever team might trade for him would simply release him and pay him the smaller amount.
While Smith sits, the 11-42 Cavaliers continue their season on Tuesday with a home matchup against the Boston Celtics.