Rumors and speculations are now swirling around the Cleveland Cavaliers who are threatened to lose shooting guard J.R. Smith in free agency.
Center Timofey Mozgov and point guard Matthew Dellavedova are set to join the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks, respectively, after receiving high offers. Will J.R. Smith leave next?
The Cleveland Cavaliers have finally won their NBA championship title after 52 years. The combination of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love (not really) have tremendously changed the Cavaliers’ future in the league.
Also, other players like Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, and Richard Jefferson made an incredible contribution to the Cavaliers’ success in the 2015-16 NBA season.
Though Timofey Mozgov and Matthew Dellavedova are only backup players, their decision to leave could hurt the Cleveland Cavaliers. Mozgov agreed to sign a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers worth $64 million. His decision was an absolute no-brainer for a player who is looking for a higher salary and a starting role.
The same thing goes with Matthew Dellavedova, who agreed to a four-year deal worth $38.4 million with the Milwaukee Bucks. However, his case is a little bit different since he is a restricted free agent.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, league sources revealed that the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks are having a sign-and-trade talks on Dellavedova.
Meanwhile, Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith is also a free agent. LeBron James is expected to be the main priority of the Cavaliers in free agency. However, James already expressed his intention to re-sign with the team but did not reveal the details.
There are speculations that J.R. Smith will be the biggest priority of the Cleveland Cavaliers aside from LeBron James. Smith has established a remarkable performance in the recent season. The 30-year old shooting guard has tremendously improved his consistency in the three-point range and became a defensive specialist.
“Just a scorer,” Tyronn Lue told cleveland.com when asked Wednesday how he viewed Smith as an opposing coach. “A guy who could get hot at any time and then put points on the board. Could go for 20-25 points in a quarter. That’s the reputation guys get — Ben Gordon, Jamal Crawford — guys that can score the basketball.”
Though J.R. Smith is expected to return to the Cavs, there is still a possibility that he will leave if a team will offer him a higher salary. There are also speculations that his playing time will be lessened if Iman Shumpert returns healthy next season.
Photo courtesy: @teamswish/Instagram