J.R. Smith thrilled with acquisitions of Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade despite losing starting job
When the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired former NBA MVP Derrick Rose, then later three-time champion Dwyane Wade, the question quickly became: “What about J.R. Smith? Will he start?” After several days of deliberation, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue elected to give Wade the starting two-guard nod.
There are some hoops fans who disagree with coach Lue’s decision to utilize Smith in a reserve role, but it sounds like “Swish,” as he is known, is just fine with the call. Prior to Tuesday’s preseason matchup against the Chicago Bulls, the former Sixth Man of the Year award winner (2013) actually spoke highly of the Cavs’ additions of Rose and Wade.
“I mean, it’s really unbelievable,” said JR Smith, who lost his starting spot to Wade, when asked about adding the two guards. “D-Wade is a buyout and coming here is obviously a blessing in disguise [for him] but to get D-Rose for what we got him for is just, we still look at it like, ‘Man, I can’t believe we got him for that.’ We got him for nothing, almost.”
Smith is right on the money with regards to Rose, who signed a one-year/veteran’s minimum deal with the Cavs in July. In his 64 games played for the New York Knicks last season, the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft (Bulls) averaged 18.0 points on 47 percent shooting from the field, 4.4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per outing.
Coach Lue has also sung Rose’s praises throughout the 2017 Preseason. In fact, coach Lue has stated that he will be looking for Rose to run the second unit in earnest when Isaiah Thomas returns from his hip ailment.
As for Wade, well… isn’t it obvious? “Flash,” as he has came to be known, is one of the greatest two-guards to ever step foot on a basketball court. It just so happens that he is also a long-time friend and former teammate of LeBron, a 12-time All Star, and a former Finals MVP (2006). In his 60 games played for the Bulls last season, Wade averaged 18.3 points on 43 percent shooting from the field, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.4 steals in 29.9 minutes per contest.
All things considered, it seems as though Smith, one of the most beloved members of the team, recognizes that his team simply got better, got deeper.