The Cavaliers probably didn’t want J.R. Smith, but they took him and his 2015-16 salary as a tax to get Iman Shumpert in a three-way trade with the Knicks and Thunder.
Smith could still help Cleveland off the bench, though. He has been productive in the right situations. He’s just overpaid, and New York was definitely not the right situation.
At minimum, the Cavaliers get a heck of a character.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
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Smith made his Cavaliers debut last night, shooting 0-for-5 in 18 minutes in a loss to the Rockets.
Two of those attempts were 41-footers to end quarters, shots Smith – unlike many players – is unafraid to attempt, even though they hurt his individual efficiency. I’m not saying 0-for-3 is a great night, but it looks a little better than 0-for-5.
And actually, five shots in 18 minutes would be a career-low rate for Smith over a full season. So, he’s not quite the gunner in Cleveland he claims to be.