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Report: As expected, Cavaliers waive J.R. Smith; ‘unlikely’ he joins Lakers

JR Smith

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers’ JR Smith shoots against the Detroit Pistons in the first half of an NBA basketball game, in Cleveland. J.R. Smith has been accused of breaking the cellphone of a fan who tried to videotape him in the middle of the night on a New York City street. Police say the Cavaliers guard turned himself in Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, to face a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge. The NBA champion was given a summons to appear in court at a later date and released. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

AP

As we warned readers was coming earlier in the day, the Cleveland Cavaliers have waived J.R. Smith.

This was expected as they could not find a trading partner looking to save money for a pick, so rather than pay him his full $15.7 million the Cavaliers will pay Smith $4.4 million and make him an unrestricted free agent. Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news.

There has been an assumption among many fans that if he became a free agent Smith would reunite with LeBron James on the Lakers, adding another big personality and flawed player to an interesting bench.

But not so fast my friend, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Smith will turn 34 before next season starts and his skills are in decline, he shot just 30.8 percent from three last season. I can see a playoff/contending team making a run at him for the minimum, but there is not a lot of demand for his services because he’s not expected to be able to contribute a lot.