JR Smith Says He Wants Cavaliers to Trade Him Amid Lack of Playing Time

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 27: JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on 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 shooting guard JR Smith said Thursday he's hoping for a trade because of his limited involvement during the early stages of the 2018-19 NBA season. 

Jordan Heck of Sporting News provided comments from Smith about the situation:

"To feel like you're going to play one day, and then you just don't play. ... To not even look me in my face and tell me. That's disrespectful," he added.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver later told Joe Vardon of The Athletic that he does not expect the league to fine Smith for his comments. Earlier Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the league would determine if Smith's comments were "a public trade request, which exposes him to a fine under the CBA."

Wojnarowski noted Eric Bledsoe was previously fined $10,000 for tweeting he did not want to be with the Phoenix Suns.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported Cavs general manager Koby Altman gave Smith the option to take a leave of absence from the organization since he'll likely remain "glued to the bench," but he declined in order to continue his leadership role.

The 33-year-old New Jersey native appeared in four of the team's first seven games, and it looks as if his opportunities to see the floor will further diminish after the Cavaliers fired head coach Tyronn Lue on Sunday.

Smith played a small role when called upon, averaging 2.5 points while shooting 23.1 percent from the floor in 12 minutes per game.

Finding a trade partner could be difficult because of his contract, though. He carries a $14.7 million hit under the salary cap for this season with an $18.6 million dead-cap figure, per Spotrac.

That's a high price to pay for a volume scorer who provides little in the other statistical categories and ranks among the league's worst defenders. He rated 78th among 89 qualified shooting guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus last season, per ESPN.com.

A source told Fedor trading Smith would be "easier said than done."

At his best, Smith can provide a spark off the bench with his three-point shooting—he's a career 37.3 percent shooter from beyond the arc. That's far from a rare asset in the modern game, however, and most alternatives come at cheaper prices.

That means Smith and the Cavs may be stuck together for the rest of the season despite the guard's wishes to find a team where he'd be more involved.

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