The J.R. Smith era in Cleveland has officially come to an end. The Cavaliers waived the veteran guard after failing to facilitate a trade for him. NBA fans took to Twitter to salute the ‘Henny God’ even though — he admitted to only drinking 3 glasses of the cognac in his entire life — and hilariously comment on his new freedom.
The Cavaliers announced the decision to let go of the Smith on Monday (July 15) before his contract for next season was guaranteed — which will allow him to test the market in free agency once he clears waivers — ESPN reports. It was long rumored that he would join his buddy LeBron James in Los Angeles, but NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Lakers will be an unlikely destination for him.
Smith has been on the trading block since November because only a portion of his $15.6 million salary for the upcoming season was guaranteed. The Cavaliers were able to work out a deal with Smith to extend his guarantee from June 30 to July 15, but were unable to make a trade happen during the season. By waiving the 33-year-old shooting guard, the Cavs will now be under the luxury tax for the 2019-20 season.
J.R. Smith only played in 11 games last season and fell out of the rotation subsequently agreeing to leave the team in November where he could then wait for a trade or to be released. Before this season, Smith was most remembered for his infamous gaffe in game one of the 2018 NBA Finals where he dribbled out the clock unaware the score was tied and missing an opportunity to get the ball to LeBron James for a final shot. The Cavs would go on to lose to the Warriors, and James would take his act to the west coast.
Despite all of that, Cavs fans were extremely grateful for Smith’s contributions while he wore a Cavalier jersey and hit Twitter to share all of their favorite J.R. moments, and joke about where he is going to land next. You can see all of the reactions in the gallery below.
Photo: Mike Lawrie / Getty