JR Smith Trade Rumors: Heat Eyeing 'Salary-Designed' Deal for Cavaliers SG

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 4, 2019

Cleveland Cavaliers' JR Smith (5) passes against the Boston Celtics in the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Monday, May 21, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

As the Cleveland Cavaliers explore ways to move on from JR Smith, a potential trade suitor for the 15-year NBA veteran has emerged. 

Per The Athletic's and Stadium's Shams Charania, the Miami Heat have shown interest in a "salary-designed trade" for Smith that would allow them to get rid of some contracts they want to dump this offseason. 

Smith and the Cavaliers have been headed for a divorce since last November. The team announced he would no longer be with the organization and that both sides would work together to find a resolution. 

That came after Smith openly criticized Cleveland's front office for not trying to win: "I don't think the goal is to win. The goal isn't to go out there and try to get as many wins as you can. I think the goal is to develop and lose to get lottery picks. I think that was always the plan."

The Heat could enter this offseason as much as $31.5 million over the salary cap if Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic exercise their player options and Ryan Anderson isn't waived by July 10. 

Smith has a partially guaranteed contract that becomes fully guaranteed at $15.68 million if he isn't waived on or before June 30. 

Even though Smith publicly expressed frustration with the Cavs, he was a productive player during his three full seasons with the organization. The 33-year-old averaged 9.9 points and shot 38 percent from three-point range in 198 games from 2015-18

Miami is in the market for a backup shooting guard following Dwyane Wade's retirement. The team also finished 21st in the NBA with a 34.9 three-point percentage in 2018-19. 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.