Cleveland Cavaliers to Part Ways With J.R. Smith

LeBron James is the first Lakers player since Kobe Bryant to have multiple 40-point games in a season

JR Smith told Jason Lloyd of The Athletic that he does not think the Cavaliers are trying to win games this season and he does not want to be a part of the team if that is the approach.

While Smith's contract is fairly tradeable, given it is partially guaranteed for next season, it's not a lock that a contender would welcome the opportunity to acquire the shot-happy guard. But the situation was inflamed Monday when Smith gave an interview to the Athletic in which he essentially accused the Cavs of tanking.

A source close to Smith said the split was "amicable", and the Cavs are simply "going in a different direction" from where Smith wanted to go.

While it took a month for the Cavs to honor Irving's request, he was traded to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 first round draft pick from the Brooklyn Nets (Collin Sexton). "I think that was always the plan". The two sides are not now considering a buyout arrangement, sources said.


In a detailed feature about LeBron James' last few years in Cleveland, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports that the current Lakers star not only didn't want the Cavs to deal Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in the summer of 2017 but was told by Cavs general manager Koby Altman that no such deal would occur.

The Cavs on August 22, 2017 traded Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick (which they later used to draft Collin Sexton at No. 8 overall). He noted the New Orleans Hornets squad he played on his rookie year that finished tied for the second worst record in the league.

The Cavaliers will try to trade Smith. Under the new rules, only the guaranteed portion of a salary can be counted for matching goal.

Smith is averaging a career-low 6.7 points this season.

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