Tag: J.R. Smith

LeBron James, Shaun Livingston, Harrison Barnes

Report: J.R. Smith’s 2015-16 salary becomes fully guaranteed Monday

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J.R. Smith declined a player option that would have guaranteed him a $6,399,750 salary for this season alone.

Instead, he settled for a contract that guarantees him just $4.15 million over the next two years.

But that’s a little misleading. Another $3 million of his salary this season will become guaranteed Monday.

Eric Pincus of Twitter:

Pincus appears to be rounding Smith’s 2016-17 salary. If Smith has a base salary of exactly $5 million this season, the most Smith could make next season, which follows a player option, is $5,375,000. That would mean precisely 40% of Smith’s salary is guaranteed each season – which is important.

The percentage of a player’s base salary that is guaranteed in an option year must match the preceding season. It seems not fully guaranteeing Smith’s salary this season was just a workaround so the Cavaliers could guarantee less next season.

It’s nearly a formality Smith will get his entire $5 million this season. He just has to make it to Monday without Cleveland preferring paying him $4.15 million to go away rather than keeping him. That’d be a stunning reversal days after he signs.

I wonder how Smith will spend his weekend.

Report: J.R. Smith’s contract has less guaranteed money over two years than player option would’ve presented over one

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

J.R. Smith officially re-signed with the Cavaliers, and we already knew some terms of the deal – two years, starting at $5 million, player option.

Though he will make less than the $6,399,750 he could have gotten by opting in next season, it appeared Smith might have saved face by getting more money overall with his 2016-17 player option. It probably wasn’t a better deal than opting in, but it was was arguably a better deal than opting in. That’s something.

But it’s getting harder and harder for Smith to justify his decision given the results.

While all $6,399,750 of his player-option season would have been guaranteed, just $4.1 million of his new deal – counting both years – will be.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

The big issue is how difficult the incentives are to reach. With easy benchmarks, this deal might be practically fully guaranteed.

It’s also worth noting the $2.1 million “guaranteed” to Smith for his second season might not actually be guaranteed.

Contracts with a player option dictate what happens to protected compensation – commonly called guaranteed money – for the season following the option if the player is waived before the option is exercised. Smith’s contract could say he doesn’t get any of that money if Cleveland waives him before he opts in. Given the other details we know, I suspect the contract does say that.

If it contains that clause, Smith can’t opt in until after the 2016 NBA Finals. Otherwise, if things start to go south, he could rush to opt in before the Cavaliers waive him. (Though if they make the Finals and want to waive Smith before the 2016-17 season, that could create an interesting race for filing paperwork. Could there be a scenario where they waive Smith during the Finals to ensure he can’t opt in before they waive him?)

Another thing we can deduce: Smith’s salary increases from this season to the following one. The percentage of base salary that is protected in an option year must match the season prior. Because we know Smith’s guaranteed money increases, his salary must also.

It’s official: J.R. Smith re-signs with Cavaliers

J.R. Smith

If J.R. Smith had opted in this summer, he would have made $6.5 million playing in Cleveland. He thought he could get more — he averaged 12.8 points per game after being traded to the Cavs last season, shot 39 percent from three, and played quality defense. Didn’t that merit a raise?

Wednesday Smith signed a new deal that will pay him $5 million this season, although it does give him a player option for the 2016-17 season. The Cavaliers announced it as official.

Smith didn’t have the leverage he thought he did. First, volume shooters such as himself have been going out of style around a league looking for efficiency at every turn. And Smith is a volume shooter. Then getting suspended for the first two games of the NBA Finals, followed by poor play and riding around on a Phunkee Duck when he did return didn’t help his cause.

Smith didn’t have other teams beating down his door, he wanted to stay in Cleveland, and that was going to mean a pay cut. He does have an option for next season, so he picks up a little security and makes more in the long run. But this couldn’t be what he imagined when it all started.