Report: JR Smith Considered Time Away from Cavs Over Playing Time

JR Smith is unhappy with his diminishing playing time in Cleveland, and reportedly considered taking time away from the team.

Smith, 33, was listed as a “DNP-CD” as the Cavs picked up their first win of the season Tuesday night.

Larry Drew, meanwhile, is “very disappointed” that his contractual situation remains in limbo after he took over coaching duties for Tyronn Lue this week.


Drew said he was told the Cavs might bring in a new head coach from the outside, but the team has not yet been aggressive in hiring one, sources said. Drew, who is one of the league’s highest-paid assistants at nearly $1 million this season, is seeking an adjustment to his contract that would guarantee him additional money in return for assuming the interim job. His deal is up in July.

“There are no updates, which I’m very disappointed about,” Drew said Tuesday. “I’m going to be professional and I’m going to do my job. It’s been close to 72 hours.”

While that situation plays out, the Cavs had to manage another issue on the team Tuesday with veteran guard JR Smith. For the second time this season, Smith was informed he would be removed from the rotation and not receive guaranteed playing time, sources said. Smith was upset by the news and considered taking some time away from the team, sources said. Smith decided to stay for the time being, but he didn’t play in Tuesday night’s 136-114 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Two games into the season, Smith and [Kyle] Korver were told they would be out of the rotation, sources said. Then-coach Ty Lue reversed that decision and elected to reinsert them into the lineup. The team lost its next three games, and Lue was fired.

Report: Cavs Players ‘Pissed’ Over Tyronn Lue Firing