J.R. Smith wants the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him. And the world didn’t find out about that from the Cavaliers front office or from an anonymous source. The words came from Smith’s mouth.
The words came from his mouth on Thursday morning, when a less-than-happy looking Smith spoke to reporters. And there’s no ambiguity — he didn’t beat around the bush or use a metaphor or say it in so many words. He actually said that he wants the Cavs to trade him.
Why is Smith so unhappy with the Cavs right now? It’s pretty simple, and he elaborated for the reporters.
“To feel like you’re going to play one day, and then you just don’t play … To not even look me in my face and tell me. That’s disrespectful.”
J.R. Smith clearly not happy right now with the Cavs. pic.twitter.com/JLkT6gNFQm
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) November 1, 2018
It all comes down to playing time, and he’s just not getting much. The Cavs have played seven games, and Smith has yet to play more than 20 minutes in a single one. He didn’t even take the floor for the team’s lone win of the season.
With LeBron James gone and Kevin Love out for awhile with a toe injury, the Cavaliers are starting to play their younger guys over their older, established veterans. There’s nothing wrong with the Cavs doing that, but there’s also nothing wrong with Smith not liking it and wanting them to trade him to a team that would actually play him.
There’s nothing wrong with Smith wanting to be traded, but there is something wrong with him saying it out loud to reporters, at least according to the collective bargaining agreement.
JR Smith was asked: “Are you hoping for a trade?” He responded, “Yeah.” The NBA will examine if that constitutes a public trade request, which exposes him to a fine under the CBA. Eric Bledsoe was popped $10K for the “I don’t wanna be here,” tweet in Phoenix.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 1, 2018
Smith didn’t say the words “I want the Cavs to trade me” or “I don’t want to be here.” He just responded “yeah” when a reporter asked him a question, which is why NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters in Cleveland that Smith would likely not be fined for his blunt response.
Updating shortly to The Athletic: Adam Silver does not expect the NBA to fine JR Smith for answering our questions (by saying he wished for a trade) and said Koby Altman was working through the situation internally with Smith
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) November 1, 2018
– – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Reporter’s bad posture ripped by Lions coach
• More Kaepernick snubs as untested QBs get shots
• Vincent Goodwill: Jimmy Butler deal may not help either side
• Pete Thamel: Durkin situation shows Maryland’s incompetence