3. Championship Experience
JR Smith is a proven champion, as he was a major contributor for the Cavs during their 2015-16 championship season. Smith averaged 12.4 points per game that season, which was the fourth-best on the team.
During the postseason he averaged 11.5 points per game on two less shot attempts than he had during the regular season. During the NBA Finals, Smith was the Cavs’ third-leading scorer, behind only LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
It’s safe to say the Cavs wouldn’t have won that championship without J.R. Swish’s contributions. After the Finals were completed, Smith made himself vulnerable with the media by sharing how his parents and his family have been his inspiration. He went on to state how he’s been through dark spots in his life and he wouldn’t be able to get out of them if it weren’t for his family.
This is an example of the maturation Smith has undergone, and an example of the value he can bring as a 15-year veteran who entered the league out of high school and turned himself into a champion. On top of that, Smith has been to four consecutive NBA Finals, which is more than any player on the Houston Rockets.
Smith has proven to be able to adapt and adjust to adverse situations, including being traded midseason to a team with title aspirations to being held out of action because the Cavs were tanking due to the departure of LeBron James in 2018.
Perhaps the best example of Smith having been through the rigors of the league is the Cavs’ championship team he was a part of. The Cavs decided to change coaches midseason, which is generally a signal of a team folding it in for the year. However the Cavs defeated the superteam Warriors and won the title.
Next: No. 2