Cavaliers, JR Smith parting ways amid stormy season

Los Angeles Lakers forward Le Bron James fouls Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow during the second half at American Airlines Arena. — Reuters

Los Angeles Lakers forward Le Bron James fouls Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow during the second half at American Airlines Arena. — Reuters

JR Smith and the Cleveland Cavaliers have mutually agreed for him to leave the team as both sides work to find a trade, sources told ESPN.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Cavs thanked Smith for his contributions to the organization and announced that he is working with both the team and his representation "regarding his future".

The 33-year-old has spent the last four-plus seasons with the Cavs after coming over in a deal with the New York Knicks.

While Smith's contract is fairly tradeable, given it is partially guaranteed for next season, it's not a lock that a contender would welcome the opportunity to acquire the shot-happy guard.

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"I don't want my legacy to be remembered like that in Cleveland", Smith said, according to the website.

"I think I'm done commenting on anything in Cleveland or anything that would be disrespectful", Irving said, per The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn.

Smith said at the time, he was told he would not be in the rotation after the third game.

Smith's departure comes a day before James makes his return to Cleveland for the first time with the Los Angeles Lakers. I think the goal is to develop and lose to get lottery picks. Smith was benched for the Cavaliers earlier in the season, but injuries now have him playing significant minutes as the losses pile up. Averaging 19.0 points and 13.5 rebounds per game this season prior to his injury and having shown himself as one of the league's most skilled big men, Love's absence through three weeks has put a noticeable dent in the team's scoring, ability to find mismatches and second unit play.

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