Cavs won’t be offering exiled guard Smith contract buyout

Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith will remain on the roster for the rest of the season, though nowhere near the team.

J.R. Smith didn’t get traded and he will remain a member of the Cavaliers’ for the rest of the season. At least, he will when it comes to counting toward the salary cap.

That’s just fine with the Cavs.

Not only was there no trade, but the Cavs will not be offering Smith a contract buyout, according to Chris Fedor of Instead, the Cavs will again attempt to trade Smith in the offseason. That’s when the guaranteed portion of his contract suddenly dwindles to $3.8 million.

This arrangement makes sense from a Cavs standpoint. If they try to add anyone else this season, it will merely be another young player for an audition. Smith’s massive salary hasn’t hindered that strategy all year and it sure won’t now. So no need for the Cavs to write a buyout check.

Everyone already knows Smith won’t return. What matters to the Cavs today is where they go from here. There are plenty of questions left to be answered between now and the draft in June.

Namely, where will they finish in the draft lottery? Who will make a case to be back next year, or get traded or waived? What about coach Larry Drew? Or even general manager Koby Altman? They too are under review.

Don’t misunderstand. No one is on the hot seat — yet. But after Altman acquired guard Brandon Knight and forward Marquese Chriss in deals before the deadline, the roster is basically set. For the rest of the season, change can only come via free agency, 10-day contracts or call-ups from the G-League.

There are still games to be played, but for a rebuilding team such as the Cavs, 2018-19 season is over and 2019-2020 has already begun.

The only thing that remains the same is Smith will still be on the roster, but until at least the offseason, won’t factor into any of it.

2 Comments on "Cavs won’t be offering exiled guard Smith contract buyout"

  1. Okay Cavaliers but lets get the man back on the court.

    We’re thin at SG, JR is a basketball player, and the Cavs are a basketball team. Its a perfect fit. As a fan of the Cavaliers, I even like it when the ball goes into the basketball hoop. JR can do that! Better than most of our guys.

    The man helped bring us a championship, just let him play. It good for the Cavs basketball Karma. Its good for free agents to see us do right by JR Smith. And if we really intend to trade him this summer, why not remind people that he’s a three point shooter who can create his own, handle the rock, D up, and love the game.

    With Burks and Hood gone we’re going to need buckets from the permiter. If nothing else let our young guys get used to playing with capable vets, make the system run better, learn how to win game.

    And dont come with that one single play where he was scapegoated by our “leader” as a reason to pretend the guy cant play. Its JR Smith. We know he helped us for years. Come on Cavs do the right thing!

    • I like your passion and I think there are a lot worse ideas than what you’re saying! Thanks for the thoughts. – Sam A.

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