Would J.R. Smith consider leaving LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and start alongside Jeremy Lin with the Brooklyn Nets? The Nets are one of the few teams with a big salary cap space and Smith wants a lucrative deal, so the Cavs’ star being back in New York is a big possibility in the 2016 offseason, according to NBA rumors.
The Nets may be losing target Tyler Johnson after Dwyane Wade signed with the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. Johnson is a restricted free agent and the Heat have three days to decide if they want to retain the promising shooting guard.
Should the Heat re-sign Johnson, there is a possibility that the Nets sign Smith this summer. With his skills from the three-point area and perimeter defense, he appears to be a good fit with the Nets and newly acquired point guard Jeremy Lin.
Smith most likely wants to stay with the Cavaliers and defend their championship with LeBron James next season. However, Cleveland is already loaded with huge contracts from their stars Kevin Love ($21.1 million next season), Kyrie Irving ($17.6M) and Tristan Thompson ($15.3M).
James is also officially a free agent and he will demand of a contract near $30 million next season. There were NBA rumors that LeBron will consider leaving Cleveland but it’s expected that he wants to help the Cavaliers defend their first franchise title.
The Nets can push the Cavaliers to a big free agency decision if the former offers Smith a big contract. Smith, who played for the New York Knicks from 2011 to 2015, opted out of his contract worth just over $5 million for 2016-17 season earlier this summer. It’s likely that the 30-year-old wants one more big contract in his career.
Smith averaged 12.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game in the regular season. He was also a vital part of the championship run for the Cavaliers with averages of 11.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals in the 2016 NBA Playoffs.
Smith is one of the top free agents left in the 2016 free agency market and it’s expect that he’ll be part of the NBA rumors until he re-signs with the Cavaliers, or move on to another squad like the Nets.