According to reports, the Cleveland Cavaliers have put J.R. Smith and/or Kyle Korver on the trading block, looking to unload at least one veteran guard from the roster to cut down on cap commitments.
With the franchise looking like they might be retooling after the loss of LeBron James in free agency this summer, shuffling contracts and moving money is all part of potentially reshaping the organization into a potential winner. According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, he says Smith and Korver rank near the top of the totem pole when it comes to money that doesn't need to be spent.
Smith will make $14.72MM in the upcoming season and has a $15.68MM player option for 2019/20. Korver has a $7.56MM salary with a $7.5MM player option the following year.
Vardon also reports the Cavs have already turned down an offer by the Philadelphia 76ers who looked to swap Jerryd Bayless straight up for Korver. Vardon noted instead, the Cavs are looking for a first-round draft pick.
Smith, of course, is now famous for his playoff blunder in Game 1 of the NBA Finals versus the Golden State Warriors where he failed to recognize how much time was left on the clock and the score of the game. Thinking the Cavs were ahead, he ran down the clock, when in reality, the game was tied, sending the two teams to overtime where the Cavs lost handily. Smith has been the subject of countless memes and posts thanks to his mistake.
Both could be useful tools in the Cavs organization this year but because the team likely views itself as on the outside of a playoff spot looking in, the organization may have decided removing one or both from the roster is the better long-term move.
Cleveland also recently secured the services of free agent swingman David Nwaba, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Signing him means one of Smith or Korver became expendable.