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#pounditTuesday, January 25, 2022

JR Smith, Dion Waiters, Iman Shumpert in 3-team trade

JR Smith

J.R. Smith, Dion Waiters and Iman Shumpert will all be switching teams as part of a big 3-team trade.

The Cavaliers are sending Waiters to Oklahoma City, getting Smith and Shumpert from the Knicks and a protected first-round pick from the Thunder as part of the deal. The Knicks get Lance Thomas, Lou Amundson, Alex Kirk and a second-round pick from Cleveland.

The trade makes plenty of sense because the Knicks were unhappy with Smith, and Waiters has been unhappy with his position on the Cavaliers.

Waiters, the No. 4 pick in the 2012 draft out of Syracuse, had been saying since the summer that he did not want to come off the bench for the Cavs. He started off the season as a starter but was demoted due to poor play. He openly admitted he did not like his role on the team. Waiters is under contract through next season and will be a restricted free agent after that.

Smith is in the second year of a 3-year contract he signed as a free agent with the Knicks. The contract has been a disaster. Shortly after he signed, it was disclosed he had offseason knee surgery. He is shooting 40.2 percent from the field this season, including 35.6 percent on threes. In a new setting, he could prove to be valuable off the bench.

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