J.R. Smith did not have the best debut for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night, and he didn’t like the way the huge trade news was delivered either.
J.R AND HIS OPENING THOUGHTS
New Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith went 0-5 from the field in his debut Wednesday night, as the Cavs lost 105-93 to the Houston Rockets.
Smith took issue with the way news of the blockbuster trade was delivered to the players. As for acclimating himself to a new team and system, he isn’t too worried.
Per the NOMG:
“Worst come to worst, my motto is, ‘When in doubt, shoot the ball,’” Smith said as the media contingent burst out in laughter. “So when in doubt I’m going to shoot it. Hopefully I don’t catch anybody off guard.”Smith says he’s “excited” to be a member of the Cavaliers and eager to play for a team with championship aspirations. He says he wasn’t surprised when he was moved from a place he spent the last four years at and where he earned Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2013.
Dion Waiters may have a more legitimate complaint as he was pulled after being introduced in the Cavaliers’ starting lineup in his hometown of Philadelphia. […] “The way it was done caught me off guard, warming up and stuff like that,” Smith said. “I thought that was a poor decision and then I seen what happened to Dion where he literally got his name called for the starting lineup, [then] I thought my situation wasn’t so bad.”
DERON WILLIAMS OUT INDEFINITELY
Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams is out indefinitely with a fractured rib.
Williams underwent an MRI scan, which showed a fracture of the cartilage portion of the left 12th rib.
He will be re-evaluated in a week.
“Deron reported some soreness above this area over the weekend and as a result underwent imaging studies on Monday, which were negative,” team physician Dr. Riley Williams III said Thursday in a statement. “Yesterday during the game he reported a new onset of symptoms below the prior area of soreness. New imaging studies done today demonstrated the fracture. There is no timetable for his return.”
League sources told ESPN in December that the Nets and Sacramento Kings have had trade talks involving Williams.
Williams, 30, suffered the injury Sunday in Miami and missed Monday night’s loss to Dallas. He returned in Wednesday night’s loss to Boston, where he re-aggravated the injury after playing just four minutes and had to come out of the game.
He is averaging 13.9 points and 6.3 assists per game this season.
MEMPHIS INTERESTED IN DENG AND GREEN
The Memphis Grizzlies, looking to bolster their scoring options on the wing in the ever-competitive Western Conference, are actively trying to obtain Miami’s Luol Deng or Boston’s Jeff Green ahead of the Feb. 19 trade deadline, according to league sources.
No deal is imminent, sources said, but it has become clear that the Grizzlies are intent on upgrading their wing rotation. The teams behind third-place Memphis (25-10) in the Western Conference standings already have made notable in-season additions — such as Dallas (Rajon Rondo) and Houston (Corey Brewer and Josh Smith) — and Oklahoma City has yet to move into playoff position.
It is not immediately known how willing Miami would be to trade Deng, who is not even halfway through his first season of the two-year, $19.9 million contract he received from the Heat in the wake of LeBron James’ return to Cleveland via free agency.
Miami, though, already is five games below .500 at 15-20 as it begins a challenging five-game road trip out West, leading some around the league to wonder whether Heat officials would indeed be open to moving Deng to start trying to acquire future draft picks or other trade assets because they currently possess so few.
Green, meanwhile, is widely believed to be available leading into the deadline in the wake of Boston’s deal to send Rondo to Dallas last month. However, Green told local reporters last week on the eve of Rondo’s first game at TD Garden as a visiting player that he doesn’t “want to know how that feels because I don’t want to be traded.”