LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers might have won the NBA championship last season but they are the team with the worst situation with regard salary cap.
NBA rumors had the Cavs losing J.R. Smith this offseason because of salary cap issues though there is still a big chance they get the veteran shooter back for next season.
Deasia Paige of Hoops Habit discussed the Cavaliers’ salary cap situation marking a troubling situation for the defending champions in the next few seasons.
“The reigning champions can only afford players who would accept the veteran’s minimum because they owe the league $54 million in luxury tax. This issue forced the Cavaliers to settle for acquiring veterans like Mike Dunleavy and Chris Andersen who do not really improve the roster,” Paige wrote.
“Another issue that is the result of the team’s money issue is the failure to reach a deal with J.R. Smith. The Cavaliers were finally able to reach a three-year, $100 million deal with LeBron James, but they still have not managed to sign J.R. Smith. So technically he is still a free agent.”
Discussed many times in the 2016 offseason are the NBA rumors that Smith could leave with teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers as possible destinations.
The Cavaliers are already above the salary cap and luxury tax and re-signing Smith will put them over even more. Currently, the Miami Heat are the only team with a worse cap hit with total $134.3 million total team salary.
The Cavaliers are at $116.5 million, with Smith still out of the total team salary. Smith is reportedly demanding $15 million for next season and an unknown length of the contract.
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Cleveland led by LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson is still the favorite to win the Eastern Conference so despite the high salary it could be worth it that they are paying huge money.
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