Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard J. R. Smith hasn’t played in an NBA game since game four of the 2018 NBA Finals. In August, the Cavs decided to release Smith before his $15.6 million on his contract was guaranteed. Before his release, Cleveland attempted to trade Smith, but couldn’t find any suitors. The Rockets were a team that reportedly interested, but nothing came about it.
By releasing Smith, the Cavs were able to open up salary-cap space and move under the salary cap for next season. Before playing in the 2019 All-Star Celebrity Softball Game in Cleveland earlier this year, Smith told the Media that it weird not being part of the team the last eight months.
“Technically my whole career’s been in limbo, so this is easy for me,” said Smith.
Since his time away from the NBA, Smith has been taking part in Black Top runs with his trainer Chris Brickley. Along with other NBA players, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, Dennis Smith Jr, Donovan Mitchell, Danny Green, Trae Young, C.J. McCollum, Lance Stevenson, and even J. Cole.
Speaking of C.J. McCollum, J.R. Smith was showcasing why he should be on an NBA roster next season. McCollum just happened to be the person; Smith abused on the defensive side of the ball in the video below.
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McCollum helped the Portland Trailblazers to the Western Conference Finals along with Damian Lilliard for the first time in 19 years but fell short to the Golden State Warriors. Last season, McCollum averaged 21 points on 45.9% from the field and 37.5% from behind the arc while Lillard was named to the All-NBA Second Team.
Last month, former Blazers guard Clyde Drexler talked about the tandem of Lillard and McCollum.
“I think they have been growing for a few years and things are good for them. They just have to sure up their frontcourt and maybe win a few games.”
Earlier this year, during an interview with Hall of Famer and Piston Isiah Thomas, shared his thoughts on Lillard and McCollum being compared to him and Joe Dumar.
Both those guys are so good, and I love watching them. The enjoyment that I get out of watching Dame and C.J., and the enjoyment I get out of watching Steph [Curry] and Klay [Thompson].
If Joe [Dumars] and I provided people that much joy when they watched us play, then I am honored and happy that we were able to do that. Every time I watch those two guys play, I am amazed by what they are doing out on the floor and what they did out on the floor.“
He wasn’t done:
“Just look at the shoot that Dame made over Paul George two of the most dramatic shots I have seen in the playoffs. One Dame Lillard was standing there at half court knocking down the three and waving goodbye. You are talking about dramatic, poetic, and just beautiful, and the second one came from Allen Iverson. In the 2001 NBA Finals when he crossed over Ty Lue in the corner made the three and stepped over him.
With me being a little guy, I admire what the little guys do. Those two shots are the most dramatic shots that I enjoyed from a style, artistic, and gamesmanship standpoint. So, when you talk about Dame and C.J., they are beautiful to watch, and Joe and I honored to be compared to those guys.“