J.R. Smith’s pocketbook won’t be any lighter after publicly saying that he’d like to be traded on Thursday, according to NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
“It’s a last resort to be sanctioning or disciplining a player,” Silver said on Thursday while in Cleveland to announce the city’s landing of the 2022 All-Star game, per cleveland.com. “I think in the first instance those are team matters, and, even if it came to a situation where there is a technical rules violation we usually look to the team in the first instance to see how they want to handle it. Talking to Koby [Altman] earlier, it is something that he and his interim coach are addressing directly.
”My hunch is that he’ll find a way to deal with it and it won’t be necessary for the league office to get involved.”
It is against NBA rules for a player to publicly request a trade. Last year, then-Suns guard Eric Bledsoe was fined $10,000 for tweeting “I don’t want to be here.” Ultimately, Bledsoe was traded to the Bucks.
Smith, per reports, has not even told the Cavs that he wants a trade yet. He also said he turned down an offer from Altman, the Cavs GM, to leave the team and go home. And considering he himself did not come out and stay that he wanted out — Smith’s answer was in response to a reporter’s question — it’s hard to really punish Smith.
“It’s a tough situation as a veteran and I totally understand that,” ‘team voice’ Larry Drew said on Thursday pregame. “I’m very glad he decided to stick around. I had no knowledge about what his options were, but yes, I’m very happy that he did make that decision to stay with the team.”