Report: Cavaliers consulted LeBron James before acquiring J.R. Smith
Smith and Shumpert were part of a three-team deal that sent Dion Waiters to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Alex Kirk, Louis Amundson and a 2019 second-round pick to the New York Knicks. Cleveland also acquired a protected future first-round pick from the Thunder. Lance Thomas moves from Oklahoma City to New York.
According to ESPN.com, Cavaliers officials asked James "about his willingness to play alongside Smith" before going through with the trade. Smith, like Waiters, has been criticized for poor shot selection.
Waiters, the fourth overall pick by the Cavaliers out of Syracuse in 2012, was averaging 10.5 points in 23.8 minutes per game this season. He has a 24.1 percent usage rate, which measures the percentage of a team's plays that end in a shot by that player.
Smith is averaging 10.9 points in 25.8 minutes per game, with a usage rate of 23.5 percent.
- Phil Watson