The Milwaukee Bucks and J.R. Smith have a mutual interest in each other. The Cavaliers are not interested in buying out Smith which has prompted the Bucks to make a move on the former NBA champion, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.
The 33-year-old Smith doesn’t have much to offer the Cavaliers, who are in a rebuilding process since the departure of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Therefore, the team is looking to hold onto the 6’6 shooting guard and use him in a trade.
If the Cavs don’t trade Smith by the deadline date, they would have to waive him by June 30th and pay him $3.9 million. In the process, they could free up a roster spot. Another option for the team is to try trading him but risk taking on his entire contract.
J.R. Smith may have a few good years left in him. By joining Milwaukee, he would be an acceptable addition to an already over-exceptional team. The Bucks have the best record in the league and one of the best NBA players in Giannis Atenekoumpo.
The Cavaliers have been in a downward spiral since the exit of LeBron James. The team has one of the worst records in the league right now. J.R. Smith may seem like a lingering piece to a former decommissioned ship that was once successful, and the team may want to do away with him to start fresh.
Jordan Clarkson has been a bright spot for the Cavs. The former Laker is averaging 17.2 points per game and is playing to his full potential. The team is also still clinging onto Kevin Love, the final piece from the dynamic trio that brought a championship to Cleveland.
J.R. Smith was doing well in Cleveland with the team and fans until his mess-up in the NBA Finals when he tried to run out the clock while the team was down in the game. Although, the Cavs didn’t seem to have much of a chance in that series anyway.
If the Cavs do depart with Smith, they should thank him for helping end the championship drought in Cleveland and bringing a championship to the Cavaliers.