The three-team blockbuster trade involving the Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks has been made official, after initial reports of the trade on Monday evening.
Now that it’s gone through, the players involved had some things to say to their now former teams before they left town. Dion Waiters, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert each showed respect for the franchises after they were traded.
If you’re not sure of the specifics about the trade, we’ve got you covered. Chris Sheridan broke that down for you here.
All you need to know for this post is the Cavs traded Dion Waiters to the Thunder and received J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the Knicks.
First up is J.R. Smith, which he posted to his Instagram on Tuesday, thanking the Knicks and their fans.
“I want to thank Mr. Dolan and the Knicks organization for giving me the opportunity to play for such a storied franchise over the past few seasons. I want to thank my teammates for their support and guidance. Most importantly, I want thank the fans of New York who are some of the most passionate basketball fans in the world. Playing in my hometown has been incredibly special and I will be forever grateful for having had the chance to wear a Knicks uniform.
Though I look forward to starting a new chapter in Cleveland to join some of the best talent in the game in the quest for an NBA Championship, this great experience in New York will always stay with me.
Thank you again, fans. Your support means the world.”, Smith captioned for the photo.
And here’s one from Iman Shumpert, giving the same amount of respect and thanks to the Knicks organization and their fans. He posted this to his Instagram on Tuesday as well.
“All I can say is thank you to New York. For every opportunity and valuable lesson I’ve learned in my time spent there. Thank you to the @nyknicks for being a first class organization and thank you to the fans for being insanely in love with the franchise. Support is everything. Love is love. One last toast to the #knickstape. Sometimes the business side of the game hurts…Hope the guys can turn it around. Off to #Cleveland #post90 #kidz”.
They’re both in Cleveland today joining their new team, but that doesn’t mean they can’t give their respects to the team they’ve played for the past few seasons.
As Shumpert said in his post, it’s always hard to deal with the business side of things, especially in basketball. The Knicks now have the worst record in basketball, and getting rid of some cap space was what Phil Jackson thought was best for the season.
It’s a great thing for players to do and nice for fans to see. It’s nice for fans to know that they’re important to players and why they enjoy playing for teams.
Smith and Shump will look to bolster Cleveland’s offense and defense both, and hope they can help get them playing close to their preseason expectations. We might see Smith suit up on Wednesday for the first time when Cleveland takes on the Houston Rockets at home.
Good luck to all the players and teams involved!