JR Smith has made headlines in the last day or two for his comments on the Cavaliers’ tanking record, and how he doesn’t want to be a part of a team that doesn’t want to win.
He’s also said that he’d be uncomfortable with a buyout, a fact that has made an earlier trade of the veteran guard a difficult situation for the Cavaliers organization. In spite of all that, the two parties are on their way to an agreement and Smith won’t be playing with the Cavs in the meantime.
So where will JR end up? Here are a few teams where he may be a good fit:
1. Washington Wizards
The Wizards have grabbed headlines of their own recently, with rumors that the entire team–including star players Bradley Beal and John Wall–may be on the table for a trade. The Wizards are in a similar boat to the Cavs: they’re tanking, too, but definitely not on purpose.
In what will surely be a tumultuous few months for both franchises, the Wizards could send Ian Mahinmi and a 2022 second round draft pick to Cleveland in return for Smith, who could bring some depth and veteran savvy to the struggling team.
2. Dallas Mavericks
Dallas is a young, growing team who could use a veteran presence as well–especially the presence of Smith, who has been so often an integral part of deep playoff runs. Luka Doncic and Co. are doing well, probably better than many thought they would, but the JR’s presence could add depth to their backcourt with the added benefit of having a veteran guard to help Doncic grow into the best player he can be.
It may not work in every aspect, and it’s definitely not a perfect fit, but JR could help the Mavs do some damage in the West. Dallas could ask for Smith, along with veteran sharpshooter Kyle Korver (who hasn’t said so, but probably also wants out), and send Wesley Matthews and a 2021 second round pick in return.
3. Memphis Grizzlies
The same trade deal could work for the Memphis Grizzlies. If the Cavs send Smith and Korver to Memphis, they could receive Chandler Parsons and a 2019 second round pick.
The Grizzlies are doing just fine so far this season–they’re another team that’s exceeding expectations as other teams like the Celtics and Wizards flounder–but they could use more depth in their backcourt. Korver and Smith both would make them more of a threat from three-point range, and take some of the scoring burden off of Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.