J.R. Smith, who has all but been shunned from the Cleveland Cavaliers, is reportedly a potential acquisition target for the Houston Rockets, according to New York Times reporter Marc Stein.
The Rockets have expressed exploratory interest in acquiring JR Smith, according to league sources. Smith is currently on hiatus from the Cavaliers as Cleveland seeks a new home for the veteran shooting guard via trade
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 11, 2018
Smith is averaging 6.7 points and 1.9 assists per game while shooting just 30.8 percent from 3-point range in 11 appearances for Cleveland in 2018-19.
The Cavaliers have been one of the worst teams in the NBA in 2018-19 and hold a 6-20 record through 26 games. They’ve already traded away guards Kyle Korver and George Hill this season.
The idea of Smith going to the Rockets signals the organization’s level of desperation to address their need for some offensive firepower beyond James Harden and Chris Paul. All is not lost for Houston just yet. They are only 2.5 games out of the eighth seed, but in a loaded Western Conference, the team cannot afford to stay pat on their roster and run the risk of falling down further in the standings.
Moving Smith would be a good thing for the Cavs. The team is in the midst of a massive rebuild since LeBron James went to Hollywood. While Smith won’t carry an offense single-handedly, he is well-suited to play alongside Harden and Paul.