J.R. Smith wants to get PAID. The Cavaliers are willing to pay him, but not quite in the all caps kind of way. Smith reportedly wants $15 million a year; the Cavaliers are thinking more like $10 million — either way that could buy a lot of shirts. Years could also be an issue in the talks, as the Cavaliers will be tax payers again this season (once Smith signs) and that means they are up for the repeater tax next season, so the front office likely wants flexibility.
But Smith is not trying to leverage the Cavaliers by flirting with other teams, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
I’m not even sure where the leverage would come from. While Smith has developed into a solid catch-and-shoot option for the Cavaliers, the teams out there with the cap space to pay him at least the Cavaliers are offering are either teams that would have no interest in him, or where he would have no interest in them. Here are the teams that still have $10 million in cap space, according to Basketball Insiders:
Everyone is going to sit around, and somewhere close to camp Smith will sign a deal and we can move on.