Well, it was bound to happen.
When Dwyane Wade signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was under the assumption that he would be slotted into the starting shooting guard spot straight away. Obviously, that idea came to fruition, as head coach Ty Lue announced this week that Wade would be starting over J.R. Smith.
As many expected, Smith isn’t the biggest fan of the rotation change.
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) October 11, 2017
J.R. had this to say about the benching of Tristan Thompson — who Kevin Love is replacing at the center spot in the starting lineup — and himself: “We talked about it. It wasn’t the most positive conversation, but we talked about it and we’ll get through it together.”
Smith also said he was expecting this to happen after the Cavs signed Wade.
“Was pretty much bracing myself for it,”
“Was working hard all summer and then coming in and not even really having a chance to earn my spot, but it’s all right,” Smith said. “It is what it is.”
As you can tell, Smith isn’t the biggest fan of losing his starting role, but it’s not all bad news according to J.R.
“I actually like playing on the second unit better; I’m more of a playmaker and distributor and I handle the ball a little bit more instead of just running to the corner.”
As of right now, Smith is taking one for the team and accepting his role off the bench. Whether that sacrifice will last the entire season — that is if Wade can stay healthy — is the biggest question.