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Report: J.R. Smith considered leaving Cavaliers after they again pulled him from rotation

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 21: JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after narrowly missing a half court shot during warms ups prior to the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Quicken Loans Arena on October 21, 2018 in Cleveland, 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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The Cavaliers played J.R. Smith then told him they were benching him to go young then sat him for one game then put him back in the rotation then fired Tyronn Lue then promoted Larry Drew then sat Smith again.

Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

For the second time this season, Smith was informed he would be removed from the rotation and not receive guaranteed playing time, sources said. Smith was upset by the news and considered taking some time away from the team, sources said. Smith decided to stay for the time being

Unlike Kyle Korver, Smith has negative trade value. The 33-year-old is guaranteed $18.59 million on a contract that will surely end after this season. Cleveland’s best course is probably keeping him on the chance his contract is useful in a trade then waiving him in the offseason if no deal emerges.

But Smith still doesn’t deserve getting jerked around like this. No player does. These mixed messages must be incredibly frustrating.

Smith doesn’t necessarily deserve playing time. If the Cavs want to go young, he definitely doesn’t fit. If they want to win now, he still probably doesn’t fit.

Leaving the team would be extreme on his part, but I don’t blame him for being aggravated with the Cavaliers’ directionless.