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#pounditSunday, November 28, 2021

Cavaliers release statement on JR Smith situation

JR Smith

JR Smith has been openly pushing for the Cleveland Cavaliers to give him an opportunity to play elsewhere, and the team has confirmed that they will do just that.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Cavs thanked Smith for his contributions to the organization and announced that he is working with both the team and his representation “regarding his future.”

In other words, the Cavs are trying to trade Smith. At 33 and owed $14 million this season and $15 million next, that will not be easy. Smith has said he does not want his time in Cleveland to end with a buyout, but that may end up being the best possible solution for both sides.

Smith said a few weeks ago that he feels he is no longer welcome in Cleveland, pointing to the way he had been been removed from the rotation and was barely getting any minutes. He has played a lot more since then, but he wants no part of the rebuilding phase the Cavs have entered.

In an interview with Jason Lloyd of The Athletic that was published on Tuesday, Smith publicly called out the Cavs for intentionally losing games. That was likely the final straw and made the team realize there is no point in trying to keep him around.

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