The Cleveland Cavaliers and J.R. Smith continue to find themselves at an impasse. Smith has suited up for just 11 games this season and remains away from the team as the two sides look to find a way to end their relationship.
At issue here is that Cleveland wants to trade Smith and the remainder of his bloated contract. It’s highly problematic given that he’s earning $14.72 million this season and has a non-guaranteed cap hit of $15.68 million in 2019-20.
Interest in Smith would pick up if the Cavaliers decided to buy him out following next month’s trade deadline. At that point, contending teams might have open roster spots.
According to this note from Sam Amico of Amico Hoops, the defending champion Golden State Warriors would be among the teams to have interest in Smith should a buyout come to fruition. He also mentions the Houston Rockets as a potential landing spot.
How exactly would Smith fit in with the Warriors? He could back up at both the two and the three. Though, with Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant holding down the fort at those two positions, playing time would be an obvious issue.
Add in Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and the surprising Alfonzo McKinnie off the bench, and that’s magnified further.
Smith, 33, averaged 8.3 points on 38 percent shooting from distance last season. He might be a good fit on a contending team. We’re just not too sure the Warriors are said team.