Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is still in search of a new NBA home. With the 2019-20 season now underway, it’s unknown exactly when he’ll find one, but it appears there may be a reason Smith remains a free agent, at least in the eyes of ex-NBA player Stephen Jackson.
Smith only suited up in 11 games and averaged 6.7 points, 1.9 assists, and 1.6 rebounds for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2018-19 season. The Cavs would later waive the former Sixth Man of the Year back in July. Over the weekend, former NBA players Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes debuted their podcast “All The Smoke” on ShowTime Sports. During the episode, the two former professional athletes talked about a variety of topics, including the league trying to force J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony out of the NBA, per CTRL the Narrative.
“I hate to say it, but it seems like they are trying to do my boy J.R. [Smith] the same way as [Melo]. J.R has some much game left and to see him going through that just because he is not who they want him to be. He is himself, yeah, we all make mistakes- We all F*** up, everybody has I love J.R. because he owns it,” said Jackson.
What’s Next for J.R. Smith?
Recently Yahoo Sports NBA Insider Chris Haynes was on Heavy.com Brandon “Scoop B’ Robinson’s podcast “Scoop B Radio” and shared that the Los Angeles Lakers are giving Smith “a serious look.”
“I think the Lakers are giving him a serious look,” Yahoo Sports’ Haynes told Robinson on the Scoop B Radio Podcast. “I think they want to go into the season with the roster they have,” Haynes added. “(They want to) check the first 10, 15 games, see how things are going, check the list of numbers and percentages, and see what they lack before they decide what they’re gonna do.”
Other teams mentioned this offseason that were interested in Smith the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Houston Rockets.
Smith on His Free Agency Rumors
On July 7, 2019, Smith took part in the MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game in Cleveland, Ohio, and he was asked about where he might end up.
“I’m not the general manager or the owner, so I don’t really have a choice in those decisions, so I’ll leave it where it’s at,” he said.
“I’m just taking it day by day. I’m fortunate to be home with my kids and my wife for this amount of time, and I’m not taking that for granted.”
Smith’s Former Teammate Isaiah Thomas Believes He Should Be Signed Already
Earlier this summer after signing a one-year deal with the Washington Wizards, Isaiah Thomas tweeted out that J.R Smith should be on a team right now!
“My bro JR Smith should be on a team right now,” said Thomas.
Last season, Thomas was a member of the Denver Nuggets as he averaged 8.1 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 12 regular-season games. He would fall out of the Nuggets rotation toward the end of the season and didn’t play at all during the 2019 playoffs.
The former Cavaliers guard also spoke about his future when a fan asked if he had retired from the NBA. Smith replied, “Just waiting on the phone to ring.”