The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to waive veteran shooting guard and fan favorite J.R. Smith after failing to find a trade partner.
This development is hardly surprising. Ever since J.R. Smith and the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to part ways in November this day seemed inevitable. Cleveland will waive Smith after not being able to work out a deal to send him elsewhere.
As Joe Vardon states, barring a last minute trade the expectation is that he will be waived. This will give Smith the opportunity to sign with any team.
Chris Fedor notes that this move will finally have the Cavaliers below the luxury tax threshold. Cleveland has been above the threshold for quite some time and it will provide a bit of relief for the Cavaliers front office.
Initially some thought that Cleveland and Smith would have parted ways by now. Perhaps the fact that Smith took part in the celebrity softball game during the MLB All-Star Break had something to do with it. Anything to avoid making a situation even more awkward than it already is.
With the team waiving Smith there is only three players remaining from that 2016 NBA Championship team. Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova. Although Delly did leave to go to Milwaukee only to be reacquired last season. Trade rumors have surrounded Kevin Love ever since he signed his contract last season. Actually they have existed pretty much since he arrived in Cleveland. Whether Cleveland actually moves him or not remains to be seen but the rumors are only just getting started.
There will always be fond memories of J.R. Smith in a Cavaliers uniform, even with his blunder in the 2018 NBA Finals. Cleveland will remember the good times with Smith and his part in breaking the championship drought that consumed the city for half a century.