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#pounditSunday, November 28, 2021

JR Smith reportedly leaves Cavs, working with team on trade

JR Smith has made it clear that he no longer wants to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it sounds like the team is in the early stages of granting the veteran swingman his wish.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports that Smith has left the Cavs to work out on his own, and he and the team have reached an “amicable” decision to part ways. A buyout agreement is not yet on the table, but Cleveland is said to be looking at possible trade scenarios.

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 they will do more harm than good by keeping him around.

Smith is 33 and is owed around $14 million this season and $15 million next, so trading him will not be easy. However, he told Lloyd that he doesn’t want his “legacy” in Cleveland to end with a buyout. Smith may end up having to soften his stance on that.

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