Tag: J.R. Smith

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Three

Report: Cavaliers shopping Brendan Haywood, first round pick in trade to try to upgrade the roster


The Cavaliers have plenty of interesting decisions to make this summer, and it starts with LeBron James and Kevin Love, both of whom are more than likely to opt out of next year’s deals in order to become unrestricted free agents, before ultimately re-signing.

But the stars were always expected back. What’s unclear is what the role players and reserve unit will look like, considering that J.R. Smith is likely to opt out, and Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova are both restricted free agents, which means the Cavaliers could retain their rights if the offers they receive from other teams don’t reach the outlandish.

No matter what happens with the players we just mentioned, Cleveland needs upgrades to bolster the depth on its roster. And the team is already working to make things happen on that front, even with the Finals loss to the Warriors only in the rear view mirror for a few short days.

From Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

Days after the end of the Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers are working on upgrading their roster by shopping the potentially valuable contract of Brendan Haywood, and — in some cases — offering it along with the 24th overall pick in Thursday’s draft, sources told ESPN.com.

Haywood’s $10.5 million contract is not guaranteed for next season if he’s waived by Aug. 2. This could be attractive to a team looking to either offload salary now or use it as part of another deal that could be executed during free agency in July.

The Cavs have tested the market in swapping Haywood either for a player or a future draft pick, sources said. …

Any trade involving the Cavs’ first-round pick could not be executed until after the draft. They are precluded from trading their pick before making the selection because they already traded their 2016 first-round pick in the deal to acquire Kevin Love last summer. That pick now belongs to Philadelphia.

Haywood’s contract could theoretically be a nice trade chip that the Cavaliers could use to upgrade the roster, should a willing trade partner be out there who has an unfavorable contract sitting on its books.

This is just the beginning for what should be an intriguing summer in Cleveland. The way that James and Love choose to structure their next deals will remain something to watch, as will the moves that the Cavaliers are able to make to reload for next season so they can once again feel confident about their chances in securing a return trip to the Finals.

Cavaliers GM expects LeBron James and Kevin Love to both opt out, become free agents, stay with Cavs


The Cavaliers exceeded expectations this year, especially once both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were lost at different points in the playoffs with season-ending injuries.

Theoretically, if the team had remained fully healthy, there’s no telling how things may have played out. There’s hope in Cleveland to see about that next year, but there’s a lot of uncertainty with regard to the future of the roster.

LeBron James and Kevin Love have player options for next season, and can both choose to become unrestricted free agents. Cavaliers GM David Griffin says he expects them to do exactly that — before ultimately re-signing.

From Jason Lloyd of Ohio.com:

Griffin said Thursday he expects both James and Kevin Love to become free agents later this month and expects both to return next season. Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova will receive qualifying offers, making them restricted free agents that will allow the Cavs to match any offers they receive in free agency. Griffin would like to keep all three, essentially maintaining the core of a team that won 53 games and advanced to the Finals for the second time in team history.

“We very much intend to keep this group together,” Griffin said. “You look at that as a group that has the potential to be special, special good.”

The most likely outcome for James is for him to opt out to get a raise of a few million dollars for next season on a max deal under the increased salary cap, while once again keeping a player option on a deal for the following season. This type of structure will continue to give James a maximum amount of earning potential, while keeping the pressure on the Cavaliers franchise to continue to make improvements to the roster at the very same time.

Things are far less clear where Love is concerned. He could structure his next contract in similar fashion, and that may make the most sense. But if he were to want to lock down some financial security for the future with something approaching a five-year contract worth the max, the franchise would have a difficult decision on its hands.

There are role-players like J.R. Smith who will more than likely opt out as well, and there are restricted free agents Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova who the Cavaliers have the right to retain, but may choose not to if the market dictates a higher-than-expected value for their services.

There’s work to be done with this Cavaliers roster, in order to bulletproof it for the rigors of next season. It all starts with LeBron and Love, however, and how they choose to structure their next deals will be extremely interesting to watch.

Report: Tristan Thompson’s agent ‘let it be known’ Cavaliers forward wants max or near-max contract

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

Tristan Thompson reportedly rejected a four-year, $52 million contract extension with the Cavaliers before the season.

He then excelled throughout the Cavaliers run to the NBA Finals.

Where does his stock stand now?

Bob Finnan of The News-Herald:

His agent has let it be known that Thompson wants a max deal, or close to it.

You might remember Thompson’s agent, Rich Paul, from such people as LeBron James’ agent.

LeBron wields tremendous power in Cleveland. That’s why J.R. Smith opting out is a relatively safe move. LeBron likes Smith, and I bet the Cavaliers would pay extra to keep a teammate LeBron likes.

That’s even more overt with Thompson, whom LeBron said should spend the rest of his career in Cleveland. I can’t read that statement any other way than LeBron knowing he has the power and using it.

Considering the circumstances, it’s generous Thompson would even consider accepting less than the max.

Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith says he’ll probably opt out of contract

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

At some point, J.R. Smith will finish his Coors Light, get off his motorized wheels and attend to the business at hand.

Namely, his $6,399,750 player option.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

In a vacuum, there’s a case either way for Smith’s option.

At one point, Cavaliers coach David Blatt called Smith a “godsend.” More recently, Smith assessed his play as “horsesh—.”

Both are apt.

Smith is erratic, capable of both getting hot from beyond the arc and destructively moping on both ends of the floor.

He might not draw $6.4 million on the open market, but this could be a good time for Smith to lock into a long-term deal. He’ll turn 30 before next season, and he’s coming off an NBA Finals run – which tends to inflate players’ values.

But the elephant in the room is LeBron James.

LeBron and Smith seemed to click after Smith’s midseason trade from the Knicks. LeBron has spoken positively of Smith numerous times, and vice versa. They have each other’s backs.

And if LeBron has your back, you can probably get a nice contract from the Cavaliers. They’d surely rather pay Smith than risk upsetting LeBron.

If it helps them talk themselves into giving Smith a lucrative long-term deal, his spot-up shooting fits well around LeBron (and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love). Smith makes Cleveland better, and even if the Cavs let him walk, they wouldn’t have cap room anyway. Re-signing Smith is nearly entirely about how much Dan Gilbert is willing to spend on this team – and that’s about keeping LeBron happy.

In LeBron, Smith has more than enough protection to opt out.

J.R. Smith mourns NBA Finals loss with a Coors Light and PhunkeeDuck ride

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

Everyone handles losing in their own way.

LeBron James is fantasizing about having missed the playoffs entirely.

J.R. Smith is wheeling around on a really fun-looking machine (a PhunkeeDuck) with the saddest look on his face:

Unfortunately, this video didn’t show the full absurdity of the situation:

You do you, J.R.