J.R. Smith is yet to sign a new deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though he is expected to re-sign, the Cavaliers are not in favor of giving him the ‘lengthy deal’ he demands.
J.R. Smith is one of the few free agents who has not yet signed a contract this summer. There were reports saying that the Cavaliers initially offered a $10 million per season which the 31-year-old shooter declined. Smith was reportedly demanding a $15 million per season but later revealed that it was not about the money but the length of the deal.
“I don’t want to feel like I’m taking advantage of the Cavs for everything they’ve done for me, and I don’t want them to feel like I’m taking advantage of them. It’s more of a mutual respect thing.” Smith said in an interview with Complex.com.
According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, the Cleveland Cavaliers are already more than $22 million over the NBA’s $94 million salary cap. By league rules, they can go over the cap to retain Smith, but couldn’t replace him with a free agent who would command a similar contract.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said that he is willing to pay the luxury tax for huge amounts just to keep his title team together. However, giving players lengthy deal while they are over the salary cap will limit the Cavaliers from upgrading their roster.
J.R. Smith has the same agent, Rich Paul, as Tristan Thompson. Recalling last year, Thompson missed most of the training camp because of the delay in contract signing. Fortunately, the 25-year-old power forward got what he wants and signed a five-year deal worth $82 million.
At some point, J.R. Smith has the right to demand such contract since he was one of the major contributors with the Cavaliers’ recent achievements. However, the Cavaliers must be thinking if a 31-year-old shooting guard deserved to be given a lengthy deal.
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