J.R. Smith wants the Cavs to trade him—preferably yesterday, if we're reading his anger with the team correctly in the below interactions with reporters. Smith chimed in yesterday after reports surfaced that he'd contemplated simply leaving the team, saying they gave him the choice to leave and he agreed to stay. Now, he's explicitly saying he'd like to be shipped off to another team.
"Have you expressed that to them," the reporter asks later.
"They know," Smith answers. Here's more about why Smith feels disrespected.
This whole ordeal smacks of Cavs boss Dan Gilbert, who has a track record of being one of the worst owners in the league. In fact, the only productive thing Gilbert has done as owner is buy a team in the same city that LeBron James was born in. Throughout his tenure, he's had a revolving door of GMs and coaches, including Tyronn Lue, who was fired six games into the season. Lue's replacement, Larry Drew, isn't even sure he wants to act as interim coach for the rest of the season because Gilbert refuses to give him an extension beyond this season. In other words, things are bad in Cleveland.
It's no wonder Smith is disgruntled. Over the summer, the Cavs signed Kevin Love to a huge deal and failed to move Smith. By all accounts, they were trying to make the playoffs. But things haven't gone exactly as planned, and Smith has seen his playing time decrease as the Cavs have limped out of the gate.
Despite the baggage, now is the time to trade for Smith. The final year on his deal for the 2019-20 season only guarantees a little under $4 million of the $15 million-plus he's owed on the last year of his deal, so interested teams could think of him as a one-year flier that basically expires next season. But, according to Woj, Smith may have to cough up a small fraction of his salary if the league determines that his words constitute a public trade request.
The LeBron James era in Cleveland feels like decades ago, doesn't it?