Shooting guard J.R. Smith has made the most of his time with the Cavs and is still working toward changing the perception of him around the NBA, Tom Withers of The Associated Press writes. “I’m generally a good person, that’s what the people who know me tell me anyway,” said Smith. “I’m just being me in a better situation. Unfortunately, this picture of me got painted early in my career, so it’s pretty much taken me nine to 10 years to get over it. To be in this situation with these guys, going this far and to be playing this well, it’s a dream come true.” Smith has a player option worth $6,777,589 that he can opt out of this summer if he wishes to become an unrestricted free agent.
Here’s more from the NBA’s Central Division:
- When asked his evaluation of the 2015 NBA Draft class, Pacers president Larry Bird said, “I’d like to take a couple home with me. The talent pool this year is very good. There are a lot of good players out there, so all of us sitting up here tonight should be happy about that,” Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star relays. In the same piece, Buckner runs down the list of prospects who have interviewed and worked out for the franchise thus far.
- Matthew Dellavedova has received his fair share of criticism this season as the Cavs‘ backup point guard, but the team’s faith in the Australian is paying off in the playoffs, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com writes. Dellavedova can become a restricted free agent this summer if Cleveland tenders him a qualifying offer worth $1,147,276.
- Arizona forward Stanley Johnson believes that he would be a great fit alongside the Pistons‘ current personnel, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press relays. “I know Reggie [Jackson] and I know Andre [Drummond] really well,” Johnson said. “They’ve reached out to me and they’ve told me obviously that’s where the team needs the help at. I think I’m a good player and I can help out in that way. I think with the position I play it’s wide open for me to come in there and do something special.“