JR Smith does not want to be with the Cavaliers as long as he feels winning games is not the team's main goal.
JR Smith told Jason Lloyd of The Athletic that he does not think the Cavaliers are trying to win games this season and he does not want to be a part of the team if that is the approach.
"I don't think the goal is to win," Smith told The Athletic. "The goal isn't to go out there and try to get as many wins as possible. I think the goal is to develop and lose to get lottery picks. I think that was always the plan."
Smith's fifth season in Cleveland is off to a rocky start as he has gone from coming off the bench, to being taken out of the rotation for the sake of playing younger players, to starting, to playing just less than six minutes in Monday's loss to the Pistons.
Smith has requested to be traded and although he has asked to get out of Cleveland, he doesn't want to take a buyout in order to make his exit.
"I don't want my legacy to be remembered like that in Cleveland," Smith told The Athletic. "I don't think that's fair to the people I see every single day walking around the arena. I don't think that's fair to the trainers or equipment guys. … I just look at it differently than being traded. I don't like the statement of getting bought out."
The Cavaliers announced Tuesday Smith will no longer be with the team and he will be working with the organization to figure out his future. Joe Vardon of The Athletic first reported Smith will work out on his own away from the club as he works with them on a trade out of Cleveland.
Smith added that he thinks the organization's offseason claim the team would compete for the playoffs this season "was to save face with everybody else." The team fired coach Tyronn Lue just six games into the season and All-Star Kevin Love has only played four games due to a toe injury after signing a four-year deal in the summer to remain with the team.
The Cavaliers have the worst record in the league entering Tuesday at 2-13. On Wednesday, they will welcome back LeBron James as he plays his first game in Cleveland as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Smith, who was traded to the Cavaliers in 2015 shortly after James returned to the team following a four-season stint with the Miami Heat, acknowledged how this year's Cavaliers team has a different feel from other bad teams he's played on. He noted the New Orleans Hornets squad he played on his rookie year that finished tied for the second worst record in the league.
This is Smith's 15th NBA season. He has played in the playoffs in 11 different seasons so far. In 2016, he helped the Cavaliers win their first NBA title.