Before pulling the trigger on a three-team blockbuster trade that landed them JR Smith and Iman Shumpert, the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly had to get a final blessing on the deal from de-facto GM LeBron James.
King James apparently has no issues with bringing Smith onboard.
Dion Waiters is off to Oklahoma City; he had worn out his welcome in Cleveland, and the Cavs are hoping Smith and Shumpert can help fill his void.
Team officials spoke with LeBron James about his willingness to play alongside Smith before executing the deal, sources said.
“We wish Dion the best as he continues his career with the Thunder and thank him for his effort and work here with the Cavaliers,” Cavs general manager David Griffin told reporters Monday night. “Dion is a talented player with potential ahead of him. Trades like this are always difficult to make because there are relationships and bonds built, and that was the case with Dion. […] At the same time, we’re very excited to welcome Iman and J.R. to Cleveland. With their size and versatility, we think both Iman and J.R. can help our team on both ends of the court, and we look forward to them joining us.”
The Thunder, who used a trade exception to execute the deal, gain the offensively talented Waiters, who had struggled to fit at times over the past two-plus seasons. With Waiters, the Thunder are adding some scoring off the bench and providing insurance for Reggie Jackson, their standout guard who is in the final year of his contract.