Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith already knows who should be the Rookie Of the Year this season, and it’s not Cleveland newbie Collin Sexton.
The Cavs’ veteran decided to advocate for Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young as his favorite contender for ROY — after only ten games of the 2018-2019 season.
Young leads a 3-7 Atlanta Hawks in points and assists. After three weeks of NBA career, the 20-year-old rookie averages 19 points per game and 8-1 assists, along with 3.2 rebounds.
“I mean it’s pretty cool. When I saw J.R. tweeting me,” Trae Young noted when asked about J.R. tweet, “It was pretty cool seeing that. That’s respect throughout the league, and that’s pretty good to have. That’s why you play. You want to have respect and you want to have fun. You know I really don’t pay attention to a lot of things, but when I see stuff like that, it’s eye-opening.”
However, J.R. Smith’s endorsement, comes after a report from Joe Vardon of The Athletic, that some of the Cavs veterans think the team’s eighth overall pick from the 2018 Draft, Collin Sexton, doesn’t know how to play. Vardon described on the report that, throughout the organization, the impression on the 19-year-old player is that he doesn’t know how to defend the pick and roll nor set up teammates as a point guard.
After ten games played — averaging 23 minutes on the floor, Sexton has piled up 10.5 PPG, 2.2 AST, and 2.3 TRB.
And the tweet of J.R. Smith advocating for a rookie who’s not from the Cavs as ROY comes as no surprise since the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year has been vocal about his desire to leave Cleveland.
Last week when a reporter asked him if he was hoping for a trade, he replied with a candid “Yeah.”
Adding that "To feel like you're going to play one day, and then you just don't play ... To not even look me in my face and tell me. That's disrespectful.” – regarding his role in the team.