Smith says Wade addition makes Cavs stronger

As of now, J.R. Smith is still the Cavaliers' starting shooting guard.

Cleveland Cavaliers sharpshooter J.R. Smith met with the media after Thursday’s practice and said the addition of guard Dwyane Wade makes the team stronger and adds to its already stellar depth.

Wade joined the Cavs for their evening practice Wednesday after signing his one-year deal and the future Hall-of-Famer ran point guard with the second unit, according to head coach Tyronn Lue.

Lue stated Thursday that the Cavs have a plan in place on whether they will use Wade as a starter or as the sixth man, but the Cavs coach declined to elaborate on it.

Smith, who joined Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Jae Crowder and Kevin Love in the starting lineup during both practices, told reporters it’s not that big of a deal whether he or Wade begins the season as the starting two guard.

“If anything, it makes us stronger, whether if I come off the bench or if he [Wade] comes off the bench,” Smith told reporters. “As far as I know, I’m still in the starting lineup but I don’t really focus on it. This is my 14th year, and I’ve had a lot of BS in my past, and I don’t plan to bring that onto the Cavs.”

Smith is a superior defender and perimeter shooter than Wade and may be a better fit next to Rose.

Rose’s penetration in the lane will likely collapse the defense on a nightly basis this season, freeing up Smith and the rest of Cleveland’s shooters for open threes.

Wade may be better suited to come off the bench and be the primary scorer and ball-handler so that the Cavs’ offense can still operate at a high level when James is getting his rest– a luxury Cleveland did not have last season.

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