J.R. Smith reveals he felt discarded by Knicks in trade to Cavs

— -- J.R. Smith revealed Wednesday that he felt discarded by the New York Knicks, who traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a salary dump in early January.

"Absolutely, to hear I was a throw-in to the trade just to get you off the books and for us to go over there and thrive, I think that's absolutely how I feel," Smith said.

Knicks president Phil Jackson traded Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cleveland in early January in a three-team deal. The Knicks received two future second-round picks, a couple of trade exceptions and two players they would waive and then re-sign. The transaction also moved Smith's $6 million player option for 2015-16 off the Knicks' books, freeing up cap space to use in free agency this summer.

Smith took a not-so-subtle dig at Jackson and the Knicks on Instagram shortly after Cleveland won its second-round series over Chicago.

Smith and Shumpert have thrived in Cleveland, emerging as key factors in the Cavs' run to the NBA Finals.

Smith is scoring 13.5 points per game and pulling down five rebounds per contest for Cleveland in the postseason. He is also knocking down 39.6 percent of his 3-point attempts.

"It's a dream come true, to be in the Finals and be in this situation," Smith said Wednesday. "Going from the worst team to the best team, or one of the best teams, it's unbelievable. It's hard to put into words.

"But we talk about it often. We just hope we make the best of the situation. ... You have to take advantage of it."

ESPN.com's Ian Begley contributed to this report.