J.R. Smith hasn’t played for the Cavs since November 19 after making it known that he wants to be traded and stopped participating in all activities with the team. So far this season, he’s averaged 6.7 points.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Smith could be on his way out of Cleveland soon. The Pelicans and Rockets are supposedly interested in trading for the sharpshooter. The Pelicans are 14-14 and the Rockets are 11-14. Houston was supposed to be an NBA Finals contender but they’ve already lost 14 games. They lost 27 all of last season. New Orleans had a hot start to 2018 but just dissolved since then.
Nice forward-thinking move for the Bucks. They clear $19.1M in cap (Hill’s salary is guaranteed for just $1M), which creates cap flexibility in 2019—a variable amount dependent on what happens with Middleton. They must add talent to maximize this core with Giannis. Now they can. https://t.co/8CGz6Ya7u0
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) December 7, 2018
Both Houston and New Orleans would also be looking to elevate their talent on the bench by acquiring Smith. Despite Smith’s low averages so far in 2018-19, he can still get hot from downtown. It’ll be interesting to see if the Pelicans and Rockets try to go after Smith now or wait until the trade deadline.