INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — One of the Cleveland Browns’ most prominent fans, J.R. Smith hasn’t been hard to find this offseason.
One place you won’t find the Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard on Wednesday, however, will be the court. According to head coach Tyronn Lue, Smith will miss the team’s season opener vs. the Toronto Raptors as he continues to recover from an elbow injury.
The 15th-year veteran underwent an MRI on Monday, with the severity of the injury still unclear.
“I’m not sure what the results are,” head coach Tyronn Lue said Tuesday.
In addition to his elbow issue, Smith suffered from a hip injury, which caused him to miss two of the Cavs’ four preseason games. Following the offseason departure of LeBron James, Smith finds his role in Cleveland in flux amid a crowded backcourt more reliant on youth than in previous years.
With Smith unavailable, Lue will likely rely on a 10-man rotation, with Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Cedi Osman, Rodney Hood and George Hill making up the starting lineup. Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson, Sam Dekker and Kyle Korver will each come off the bench, with Larry Nance Jr.’s status unclear as he continues to recover from a sprained ankle suffered late last week.
Entering his fifth season with the Cavs, Smith is hoping to enjoy a bounce-back year after averaging 8.3 points and .375 percent shooting from 3-point range last season. After facing the Raptors on Wednesday, the Cavs will face the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road on Friday night. On Sunday, they’ll return to Cleveland for their home opener, facing the Atlanta Hawks at 6 p.m. ET.
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