Shooting guard J.R. Smith is one of the talented free agents who have not signed with any team yet. However, rumors are swirling that he may re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers but because of stalemate on contract, it may take a while for both sides to agree on one thing.
Smith has proven as an integral part of the Cavaliers especially in their Finals series against the Golden State Warriors. In their finals match, Smith has provided solid number averaging 13.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game coming off the bench. His performance would always complement that of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
Smith declined a $5.38 million option with the Cavaliers to become an unrestricted free agent. Though the Cavaliers have Smith’s Bird Rights at $9.5 million, Smith is looking at $12 to $15 million a year for him to re-sign with the team. The Cavaliers have not yet laid out their plans for Smith as they are concentrating on signing James at all cost, thus of Smith entertains offers from other teams, the Cavaliers might lose him via free agency.
“If I didn’t sacrifice then, I wouldn’t be a champ now,” Smith told ESPN’s His & Hers (via Sam Amico of Amico Hoops). “There have to be sacrificed on both sides, and both sides have to come to an understanding where neither of us is taking advantage of the other.”
But Cavalier’s general manager David Griffin is confident that their talks with Smith would end with positive results. Griffin noted that the team wants Smith to be back as he is part of the core for their title retention campaign. Griffin is also happy to note that Smith has expressed his willingness to come back.
Smith has confident that his agent, Rich Paul, who also represents James, will get the negotiations done before the training camp starts. James has been very vocal about bringing Smith back and he hopes that the Cavaliers will exhaust everything to bring him back. Most analysts do not see Smith playing for other teams, even though they have enough cap space to get him.
Smith has proven his strong contribution to the Cavaliers’ cause, though other teams might not see it, but it has proven one thing – Smith has a championship ring. Smith is hoping to end the stalemate with the Cavaliers in terms of contracts to be able to start his job of complementing James and the rest in their title retention bid next season.
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