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Report: Spurs, Clippers, or Pelicans Could Trade for J.R. Smith by Deadline
- Updated: February 7, 2019
The Cleveland Cavaliers have already enjoyed quite a haul from their in-season trades, but they’re still looking to make more moves.
“Even after agreeing to their fourth trade this season, the Cleveland Cavaliers stayed busy on deadline eve, looking to find a new home for exiled swingman JR Smith, and the front office will continue with that goal up until 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon, league sources told cleveland.com.”
Still, considering the fact that Smith and the Cavs parted ways back in November and he hasn’t played an NBA game since, finding a trade partner could prove difficult.
“Smith, who hasn’t played organized basketball since Nov. 19, 2018 and was recently spotted at Madison Square Garden as a fan, doesn’t have nearly as much value as some of the other pieces the Cavs have moved recently,” Fedor explained. “Finding a trade partner is ‘easier said than done,’ according to one source.”
Hope is not lost for the Cavs, however. Thanks to Smith’s unique contract, he could be an attractive get for teams that are looking to free up some cap space prior to the buyout market this season and the star-studded free-agency market this spring.
“The Cavs are hoping other teams take that same approach on Thursday afternoon, which gives them at least slim hope that Smith, who possesses a unique contract, could be the fallback option if other deals to get off salary don’t materialize,” Fedor wrote.
“For the 2019-20 season, Smith’s contract is $15.6 million, but contains a partial guarantee worth $3.8 million, allowing whichever team takes him — if there is one willing to do that — to release eventually him without much of a cap hit.”
Fedor pegged the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Orleans Pelicans as potential suitors.
If no teams call about Smith, it is likely that the Cavs will eventually buy him out and allow the longtime Cavs player to test the free agent market.