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Adam Silver: J.R. Smith won’t get fined for trade desire, per Cavaliers’ feedback

Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 24: J.R. Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Media Day at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 24, 2018 in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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Asked by a reporter whether he wanted to be traded, Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith said yes.

That had the NBA considering a fine.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver, via Chris Fedor of

“It’s a last resort to be sanctioning or disciplining a player,” Silver said to a small group of reporters following the on-stage reveal. “I think in the first instance those are team matters, and, even if it came to a situation where there is a technical rules violation we usually look to the team in the first instance to see how they want to handle it. Talking to Koby (Altman) earlier, it is something that he and his interim coach are addressing directly.

“My hunch is that he’ll find a way to deal with it and it won’t be necessary for the league office to get involved.”


And good for the Cavs for not escalating the issue into Smith getting punished. They’ve jerked him around so far this season. This is a welcome change of pace.

Also: If teams can basically decide how the league handles players openly and honestly expressing their desire to be traded, that sheds light on previous fines. Eric Bledsoe and Markieff Morris both got fined for that while with the Suns. No wonder former Phoenix players reveled in Ryan McDonough’s firing.