J.R. Smith was one of the NBA players who helped LeBron James carry the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals for four straight years and win the franchise's first ever NBA championship. However, when James left in the recent free agency, Smith found himself as the odd man out in Cleveland.
The Cavaliers entered the 2018-19 NBA season with the goal of defending their title as Eastern Conference champions. Unfortunately, without LeBron on their side, the Cavaliers struggled earlier this season and are currently the worst team in the Eastern Conference with a 4-18 record. After realizing that they don't have the capability to contend for the 2019 NBA title, the Cavaliers decided to make some of their veterans available on the trading block and focus on the development of their young players.
They recently traded Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Alec Burks and two future second-round picks. Before moving Korver, the Cavaliers already released a statement that they are already parting ways with J.R. Smith. However, though he's no longer playing for the Cavaliers, Smith remains an official member of their roster.
According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, the Cavaliers have three options to solve J.R. Smith's situation. They could find a trade partner, negotiate a buyout, or reconcile with the veteran shooting guard. Of all those three options, only trading Smith is the realistic option for the Cavaliers.