Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith would like to be traded, he told reporters after shootaround Thursday morning.
Smith's situation in Cleveland has been precarious early this season and has now culminated in a declaration that he is hoping to play elsewhere. Smith, who has averaged at least 28 minutes per game in each of his four seasons with the Cavs, played just four minutes in the first three games of this year. He played 18 and 20 minutes in the two games following that, but was then once again removed from the rotation. He hasn't seen the court at all in three of seven games.
"I don't mind taking a backseat or sitting down," Smith said. "But at least communicate that to me. To feel like you're going to play one day, and then you just don't play... you can't even look me in my face and tell me? That's disrespectful."
This news comes less than a day after Smith took to Twitter to refute rumors that he was unhappy with his role in Cleveland.
Smith has yet to formally request a trade to the Cavaliers' front office, Cleveland.com reports. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Smith's comments to the press may expose him to a fine.
The Cavs haven't started well this season after LeBron James left the team this offseason. Coach Tyronn Lue was fired after an 0–6 start, star player Kevin Love has a toe injury, and now Smith has announced that he is hoping for a trade.
Smith joined the Cavaliers during the 2014-15 season, which was LeBron's first since re-joining the franchise. He was a key rotation player for four NBA Finals runs, including a championship in 2016, but also was involved in plenty of infamous moments. Earlier this year, he was suspended for allegedly throwing soup at an assistant coach and forgot the score at a critical moment in Game 1 of the Finals.
Smith has also played for the Hornets, Nuggets, and Knicks in his 15-year career.