A 19-year-old man says he was CHOKED by Cleveland Cavs star J.R. Smith ... and claims it was all because he made fun of Smith for getting traded out of New York.
The man behind the allegation is Justin Brown -- who claims he and some friends encountered Smith at a NY pizza joint around 4 AM on Nov. 13th.
In a complaint filed with the NYPD, Brown claims Smith refused to take a picture with his group and an altercation ensued.
As Smith walked away, Brown shouted to the NBA star -- "That's why New York kicked you out, yo!"
Brown claims Smith then slammed him against a wall and choked him with his hands.
Brown filed the report 3 days after the incident.
We spoke with cops who say Brown had no visible injuries at the time he filed the report.
As for Smith -- his lawyer issued a statement claiming the allegations are "completely false."