There’s no hiding the fact that the Cleveland Cavaliers are in a state of flux right now, with J.R. Smith right in the center of it. One member of the organization even recently critiqued the Cavs shooting guard, saying Smith has a tendency to “say the right things but not back them up.”
Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor has more details about the ongoing issues with Smith:
Altman recently sat Smith down because of what was perceived as poor body language and a change in attitude. It was that negative shift that led to Altman asking if Smith even wanted to be around the team. The goal there was to protect the young players and keep any bad juju away.
Smith has a tendency to “say the right things but not back them up,” one member of the organization told cleveland.com.
Saturday was an ideal example. Smith even admitted as much following the game.
“I did an OK job the first half and the second half they ran off a couple of runs, had a little bit of bad body language from myself,” he said. “Just didn’t do a good enough job of leading these guys in the second half.”
The 33-year-old Smith doesn’t have a clear role with the team and has been jerked around a bit in the rotation. He recently said he wanted a trade but also turned down the opportunity to take a brief paid leave from the team. With this all in mind, it’s possible the Cavs just don’t have the full cooperation of Smith anymore.
With the firing of champion coach Tyronn Lue and the rumors about the team trying to trade veterans like Smith and Kyle Korver, the Cavs could be headed to a rebuilding process, something they should have strongly considered before the season started.