JR Smith Reportedly Waived by Cavaliers After Failing to Find Trade Partner

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2019

Cleveland Cavaliers' JR Smith in action during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, April 6, 2018, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 132-130. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly waived veteran shooting guard JR Smith on Monday after failing to find a trade partner.  

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the news, noting Cleveland "had been attempting to move Smith all the way up until the 5 p.m. ET waiver deadline today."

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Los Angeles Lakers are "an unlikely destination" for Smith once he clears waivers.

Smith, 33, spent parts of the past five seasons with the Cavs following a trade from the New York Knicks.

In 2018-19, he averaged 6.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in just 11 games. He last appeared in a game Nov. 19.

The previous season, he appeared in 80 games and made 61 starts. He averaged 8.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three-point range.

Although Smith won a championship with the Cavs three seasons ago, his tenure with the team was somewhat marred by his blunder in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals.

With the score tied in the waning seconds of regulation, he rebounded a missed free throw and dribbled the ball out rather than attempting a shot because he thought Cleveland was ahead.

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The Golden State Warriors went on to win in overtime, and they eventually swept the Cavs.

While Smith has some deficiencies, he is a dangerous shooter who thrives from long range when he finds his rhythm.

He makes threes at a solid 37.3 percent rate for his career, and he is eighth on the active career list with 1,929 three-point field goals made.

Now that he's a free agent, Smith will have another chance to contend and chase another ring elsewhere as his career heads toward its latter stages.