J.R. Smith soon might be the next block to fall from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ crumbling castle.
The Cavs forward considered stepping away from the team this week after he was benched and failed to receive guarantees of future playing time, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday morning, citing sources. Cleveland’s decision reportedly upset Smith severely, but he relented from leaving the group amid its 1-6 start.
Smith was a key figure in the Cavs’ lineups during his first three-plus seasons, playing just over 30 minutes per game between his January 2015 arrival in Cleveland and the end of last season. However, his playing time has plummeted to 12 minutes per game this season.
Furthermore, the Cavs’ recent coaching change — Tyronn Lue was fired with Larry Drew taking charge temporarily — has reduced clarity over Smith’s future. Smith might join Kyle Korver, whom the Cavs reportedly have begun shopping, on the trade market as the season progresses.