JR Smith Trade Will 'Definitely' Be Investigated by Cavs, Says GM Koby Altman

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2019

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 19:  JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers tries to drive around Stanley Johnson #7 of the Detroit Pistons during the first half at Little Caesars Arena on November 19, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers are still looking for ways to upgrade the roster following the 2019 NBA draft, which could include trading away JR Smith.

General manager Koby Altman said he is "definitely going to investigate" deals for Smith, per Rick Noland of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. The team could take on more salary in a return trade, but the squad could limit it based on how deep into the luxury tax it goes.

Smith has a $15.7 million contract for 2019-20, but only $3.9 million is guaranteed if he is waived by June 30, per Spotrac.    

A team could use the deal to clear cap space, matching contracts before letting him go immediately after a trade.

Cleveland was seeking a first-round pick before the draft to take on another team's bad contract, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. While both rounds have now come and gone, the squad could still seek future assets in a deal of this type.

One challenge could be the luxury tax, as the organization is already $5 million over the mark, per Spotrac. An additional contract could cause a major spike in the pending bill.

Of course, the Cavaliers have no need for Smith on the court. The guard played only 11 games last season, averaging a career-low 6.7 points per game.

After adding guards Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. to a backcourt that already features Collin Sexton, there is no need for another high-volume scorer. Even if the team doesn't complete a trade, it seems unlikely Smith will be on Cleveland next season.