JR Smith has left the Cleveland Cavaliers after claiming the team’s goal is “to develop and lose to get lottery picks” following LeBron James’ exit.
Smith stated that he wants out of the struggling Cavs as he was unhappy with a lack of ambition.
The 33-year-old got his wish on Tuesday, although the terms of his departure have not yet been agreed.
“The Cleveland Cavaliers announced today that JR Smith will no longer be with team as the organization works with JR and his representation regarding his future.” the 2016 NBA champions said in a statement.
“The organization wishes JR and his family well and appreciates and thanks him for his contributions in the community, to the team and his role in the 2016 NBA Championship.”
It seemed there was no alternative after Smith had stated he feels the team are not giving their all.
“I don’t think the goal is to win. The goal isn’t to go out there and try to get as many wins as you can,” Smith told The Athletic.
“I think the goal is to develop and lose to get lottery picks. I think that was always the plan.”
Smith has been reluctant to accept a buyout, believing it sends the wrong message.
“I don’t want my legacy to be remembered like that in Cleveland,” he said.
“I don’t think that’s fair to the people I see every single day walking around the arena. I don’t think that’s fair to the trainers or equipment guys. … I just look at it differently than being traded.
“I don’t like the statement of getting bought out.”