Trading Cavs guard J.R. Smith will be ‘easier said than done’
The Houston Rockets have long been interested in trading for Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith. Nonetheless, working out a way to send the veteran swingman from the Cavs to the Rockets might be difficult.
According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, there are concerns about bringing J.R. Smith aboard in Houston. While he is a reliable shooter from deep, there are locker room concerns that could dissuade teams potentially looking to make a trade. It doesn’t help that Smith is making just over $14.7 million this season and is set to make just under $16 million next year, with a guaranteed $3.87 million.
Currently on exile from Cleveland. Trading for Smith is said to be, “Easier said than done.” Good shooter, but hasn’t played up to standards in the last two seasons. Has a partial guarantee for next season, but concerns about locker-room morale are real.
Questions about chemistry and morale regarding J.R. aren’t unwarranted, either. Throughout his career in the NBA, Smith has been involved in multiple instances that would raise eyebrows. Most recent was a scenario in March of last year where he threw a bowl of soup at Cavs assistant coach Damon Jones.
Smith received a one-game ban from the Cavs for this incident.
It is well known that Smith is a polarizing figure. With a history of fines and suspensions, his reputation around the league could cost his team the ability to trade him to a team where he would be able to see some playing time. Despite remaining on Cleveland’s roster, Smith and the team essentially parted ways just 11 games into the season.