Questions over how Smith will integrate and settle in new team…
Knicks trade JR Smith and Shumpert to Cavaliers: Waiters moves to OKC as part of deal.
LeBron and Curry lead All-Star voting: Duo still out in front after second vote count.
LeBron ruled out for two weeks: James suffering with knee issue.
The Cleveland Cavaliers front office reportedly consulted LeBron James before completing a trade deal which saw both JR Smith and Iman Shumpert arrive from the New York Knicks.
While Dion Waiters departed as part of the three-team deal to join the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Cavaliers are already stacked in terms of offensive options with James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.
The reason that Waiters was sacrificed was due to his habit of taking as many shots as possible while in the game which didn’t particularly suit the Cleveland style this season. While it is unclear as to whether LeBron had a say in that decision, it is understood that he was asked about Smith.
“Team officials spoke with LeBron James about his willingness to play alongside Smith before executing the deal, sources said,” according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein.
There is an argument against involving James in such discussions as ultimately the franchise are seemingly sharing the power with him and allowing him to have a say on personnel moves. However, it is a different set of circumstances in Cleveland and the James situation is unique.
James can opt out of his contract at the end of the season to become an unrestricted free agent, and while it is highly unlikely that he will do so, it could still become an issue if he isn’t happy with the way the organisation is working.
As a result, he is potentially consulted on various matters and as the best player in the league and one that is capable of helping the Cavaliers compete for championships over the next few seasons, he arguably earns that power.
Nevertheless, it appears as though whoever made the decision gave the green light to Smith, and the Cavs will move forward hoping to benefit from the added depth.