New Cavs addition Smith could dress vs. Rockets
CLEVELAND — J.R Smith is doubtful for the Cavaliers’ home game Wednesday vs. the Houston Rockets, although he could suit up if everything falls into place.
Smith and injured guard Iman Shumpert were obtained from the New York Knicks in a three-way trade Monday that also involved the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dion Waiters was sent from the Cavs to Oklahoma City in the deal.
Much of Smith’s availability for the Cavs on Wednesday will be determined by the logistics of the trade. Players have to travel to their new cities and undergo physicals, and typically meet with the media, prior to dressing for their new teams.
Along with Smith and Shumpert getting to Cleveland, Waiters must undergo a physical in Oklahoma City to satisfy the terms of the deal.
Shumpert has missed the previous 12 games with the Knicks after dislocating his shoulder last month. The Cavs won’t be able to put a timeframe on his return until he undergoes a physical and the usual evaluation process with the team’s medical personnel.
Smith, 29, is scoring 10.9 points, his lowest average since 2005-06. He won NBA Sixth Man of the Year honors two seasons ago.
Shumpert, 24, is averaging 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He is considered a strong and versatile defender of the perimeter, a need the Cavs were looking to fill since trading rookie swingman Andrew Wiggins in the deal for Kevin Love in August.
Waiters, 23, is averaging 10.5 points and 2.2 assists in 33 games in his third NBA season. He was expected to start the Cavs’ 95-92 loss at Philadelphia — but was pulled from the lineup to be alerted he had been traded.
Thunder star Kevin Durant said he is excited about the addition of Waiters.
"I’m excited about bringing Dion aboard," Durant said. "(He is) a guy that has a lot of toughness. Being from the East Coast, I know a lot about Philadelphia, South Philly, where he comes from. Those guys are tough and they play with an edge. And that’s what we need here."
The Cavs also received a protected first-round draft pick from the Thunder and sent center Alex Kirk and forward Lou Amundson to the Knicks as part of the deal.
Meanwhile, Cavs guard Kyrie Irving, who missed Monday’s game with a stiff lower back, is likely a game-time decision Wednesday.