NBA Rumors: Cavs’ star J.R. Smith set to opt out of contract to hit free agency?

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Erik Drost/ flickr

Cleveland Cavaliers sharp shooter J.R. Smith is set to become an unrestricted free agent again this summer to explore the opportunities in the open market. He may not return to Cleveland for the next season.

Smith re-signed with Cleveland last summer on a two-year, $10.3 million contract. He is reportedly going to forgo his second year option salary of $5.4 million to hit the free agency with the salary cap escalating to roughly $92 million.

“This is where I want to be,” Smith told “The fans love me; I love them and my teammates.”

Smith has outplayed Iman Shumpert as Cavs’ shooting guard this season. His defense has improved considerably this season. And now he expects a rise in his salary.

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“Cleveland Cavaliers sharpshooter J.R. Smith will allow his player option deadline of June 16 to pass in order to become a unrestricted free agent this summer, league sources informed,” wrote Chris Haynes.

However, the Cavs don’t have enough cap space to sign a better alternative than Smith, according to NBC Sports. Then Smith has also appointed Rich Paul as his agent. Paul is also LeBron James’ agent. He is not having the best Finals, but Cleveland will try to re-sign him.

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The 30-year-old Smith averaged 12.4 points and shot 40 percent from three-point range in this season. Meanwhile, Mo Williams is set to exercise his player option for next season.

Photo Courtesy: Erik Drost/ flickr

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