According to a report from The Athletic's and Stadium's NBA insider Shams Charania, the Miami Heat are interested in adding Cavaliers shooting guard JR Smith. Reportedly, the Heat's interest is for a "salary-designed" trade that would allow them to dump unwanted contracts this offseason.
It's been known for quite a while that Smith's time with the Cavs was over. Back in November, the team announced that JR would no longer be with the organization. This came shortly after Smith publicly criticized the team's front office for not trying to win. For the past six months, Smith's future has been extremely unclear as Cleveland looked for possible trade suitors.
The news of the Heat's interest in Smith comes just a few days after the one year anniversary of his unforgettable gaffe in Game 1 of last year's NBA Finals.
Since that game, Smith has rarely been taken seriously in any discussion about his future in the NBA. With the news of JR potentially on the move, the 33-year-old may have a chance at shaking off his infamous legacy from that dreaded moment.
Smith signed a massive contract with the Cavs that keeps him with the team until the conclusion of the 2019-2020 season, when he is set to become an unrestricted free agent. If Smith isn't waived by June 30, he is fully guaranteed the $15.68 million in his contract. The Cavaliers would be wise to get his contract off the books, and it seems the Heat are more than willing to oblige.
The Heat face the challenge of entering the season more than $30 million over the salary cap, so they desperately need to get rid of some overpriced contracts. Also in need of an experienced shooting guard after Dwayne Wade's retirement, a deal for Smith makes sense for Pat Riley and the Heat.
Smith was semi-productive in his tenure with Cleveland, averaging 9.9 points per game from 2015-2018. Only appearing in 11 games for the Cavs last season, he certainly needs a fresh start with a new organization. If both the Heat and Cavaliers can make a deal work, Smith's fresh start could involve relocating to South Beach, where hopefully his partying tendencies don't flare up.