‘They don’t want me here:’ J.R. Smith says he’s hoping for trade
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio– J.R. Smith said he wants to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 33-year-old shooting guard spoke to the media during practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts on Thursday. When asked if he’s hoping for a trade, he said, “Yeah.”
He said he didn’t know his role with the team would be different this season. Smith said he was told he would not be in the rotation after the third game.
“They (Cavs management) asked me if I wanted to, if I wanted to be around the team and if I didn’t, I could leave and go home,” Smith said. “I can’t do that. I can’t do that to these fans. I can’t do that to this city.”
Smith also talked about his relationship with Cavaliers fans. Clevelanders are always on the lookout for shirtless J.R., who made an appearance when the Browns broke their losing streak.
“For me, it’s all about the fans.”
Smith signed a four-year, $57 million deal with the Cavs following their championship win in 2016.
“It’s hard to be somewhere where you know they don’t want you here,” Smith said. “I can’t be even be competitive anymore. For somebody in my shoes, that’s the hardest part.”
He said he hasn’t asked management for a trade, but they know.
“They don’t want me here.”