There’s still over two weeks, and five preseason games, until the Cavs tip off on opening night vs. the Boston Celtics. But for now, it looks like J.R. Smith will remain the team’s starting shooting guard even as Dwyane Wade joins the team.
Per cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, Smith said “as far as I know I'm still in the starting lineup” during his media availability on Thursday. Per Vardon, Lue said that he has a “plan in place” on how to incorporate Wade, but did not disclose it.
Smith, for what it’s worth, doesn’t seem too concerned about if he starts or comes off the bench this season after being a starting lineup staple since being acquired by the Cavs during the 2014-15 season.
“I don't really focus on it,” Smith said, per Vardon. “This is my 14th year, and I've had a lot of BS in my past, and I don't plan to bring that onto the Cavs.”
Right now, the Wade is practicing with a second that also includes Kyle Korver, Iman Shumpert, Jeff Green and Tristan Thompson. The Cavs’ starting lineup is currently Smith, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose. At media day, Lue said Rose would start at point guard until Isaiah Thomas returns from his hip injury. But Wade’s signing could change that.
This is just one practice and Lue will likely tinker with what lineups work best with Wade now on the team. It seems likely that, in some role, he’ll play some point guard. We’ll learn more next week when the Cavs begin preseason play.