NBA Rumors: Cavaliers' GM Told JR Smith, Kyle Korver They Were out of Rotation

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 27: Kyle Korver #26 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts against the Indiana Pacers on October 27, 2018 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE  (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman informed JR Smith and Kyle Korver that they would not be part of the team's rotation last week.

Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported there was a "disconnect" between coach Tyronn Lue, Altman and owner Dan Gilbert about the veterans receiving minutes. Altman had told them they were not going to play in favor of younger talent, but Lue added both back into the rotation anyway. 

That decision was likely part of the reason the Cavs fired Lue on Sunday after an 0-6 start.

"This is a different group and we feel it needs a different voice. I didn't want to string it out any longer. I didn't think that'd be fair to Ty, I didn't think it'd be fair to this group. We wanted to overachieve. That hasn't happened," Koby Altman told reporters on Monday.

Larry Drew has taken over the coaching duties for now, but he has not taken on the interim head coaching mantle. 

"I'm not the interim coach. I'm the voice right now," Drew told reporters. "As I'm sure you know, there is no agreement right now. Me and my agent have been in talks with [the] organization about restructuring my contract. No decision has been made and I don't know if one will."

Korver and Smith are both under contract through the 2019-20 season but do not have full guarantees on their contracts. The Cavs could look to move both players in exchange for more long-term salaries and draft picks or young players to help with their rebuild. 

While Smith looked like a shell of himself for most of last season, Korver remains an elite shooter who tries on defense despite his athletic shortcomings. 

Odds are neither player will be with the Cavs beyond this year's trade deadline. Or, if they are, they'll only be held onto in order to dump off this summer to teams in desperate need of salary room.