J.R. Smith had his moments with the Cleveland Cavaliers in recent years. He was instrumental in the 2015-16 NBA Finals but now he has to get accustomed to his new role of backup. Newcomer Dwyane Wade has been named to start for the Cavs and apparently the 32-year-old is not happy.

Smith has been with the Cavs since 2015. It was a new lease on life for the shooting guard following disappointing stints with the New Orleans Hornets, Denver Nuggets, and New York Knick. His best years were in New York, though they were shrouded by unnecessary vices. That said, the 6-foot-6 player has matured and toned down ever since.

Hard work not wasted

For Smith, working hard all summer may have gone down the drain with the demotion. There is no telling if the setup is temporary, as it all depends on Wade’s health and performance. While all that is a variable, Smith can still show head coach Tyronn Lue what he can do.

Smith will need to adjust a bit considering he started regularly for the Cavs over the past three seasons. However, coming off the bench is nothing new for the 18th overall draft pick of the 2004 NBA Draft. He came off the bench for the Hornets, Nuggets, and the Knicks, and still managed to come up with a decent showing. The same is expected when Lue fields him in.

Playing time may still be the same

Wade will not be purely assigned to be the Cavs shooting guard.

Starting point guard Derrick Rose will have managed minutes, meaning Wade will be tasked to perform some point guard duties as well. If that is the case, Smith is likely to be the first man off the bench and be the shooting guard. So while he may be disappointed with not starting, it now looks like a minor tweak to maximize the talent on the Cavs' roster.

Compared to last season, Cleveland has a deeper team now.

Patience will pay off

Hence, the hard work that Smith did in the summer may not entirely go to waste. Rather, it is more about adjusting to his role. If he turns out to be effective, Lue may still opt to change the starting roster and make sudden changes. A lot will depend on the health of Rose and Wade.

Both have had a history of injuries -- hopefully something that will not recur this coming NBA season.

Smith will still be there and likely called upon in the same way as in previous years. Right now, He needs to understand that these changes are for the greater good. If all goes well, the Cavs may find themselves back in the NBA Finals for the fourth year in a row.