REPORT: Kyle Korver taking JR Smith’s place in starting lineup

PHOENIX– The Cavaliers starting lineup is getting another shakeup.

According to a report from Joe Vardon at, Kyle Korver is taking the place of JR Smith in the first five.

Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue also said that Rodney Hood would stay in the starting lineup when he returns from a low back injury. Hood will not play on Tuesday night.

According to the report, Lue offered “virtually no explanation” for the move, but it’s no secret that Smith has struggled this season. He’s averaging just 8.3 points per game, the second lowest average of his career. He’s also shooting just 36.2 percent from deep.

Defensively, Smith also hasn’t been where they need him to be. In previous years, he’s been known for his on-the-ball defense on the wing, but this year has a minus-2.7 defensive rating, the third lowest of his career.

Lue previously said he has stuck by Smith due to his role in the Cavs 2016 championship.

“It was good,” Lue said according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

Smith told McMenamin, however, that the two had no conversation about the move.

“We didn’t talk,” Smith told ESPN. “He sent me a text (Monday) and I told him, ‘No problem.’ I didn’t know that it was a ‘talk.'”

The 14-year veteran did say that he was surprised by the change as well.

“That’s all right, though,” Smith said. “I’m not upset about it. I just wish there would have been more dialogue, I guess.”

Now, Smith also says he is unsure about his role.

“Honestly I don’t know,” Smith told ESPN. “I don’t know. But I think it’s good for the first unit though because we actually get to have someone out there we’re going to run stuff for and who is a threat, as opposed to having somebody who is not an option.”

About the Author

Ashley Bastock
Ashley is a former basketball player who covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians and high school sports for NEO Sports Insiders. She also covers women's basketball for SB Nation's Swish Appeal. Ashley is a 2015 graduate of John Carroll University and previously worked in political journalism. You can follow her on Twitter @AshleyBastock42

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