Report: Cleveland, J.R. Smith impasse may be about years, Cavs want shorter deal


At some point, J.R. Smith is going to sign a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is not looking at other teams, and the Cavaliers are already $22 million over the salary cap so they can’t go get a replacement for him.

Still, the Cavaliers are a couple of weeks away from training camp and there is no deal.

The hold up may not be money as much as years, reports Joe Varden of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

While neither Smith nor (his agent Rich) Paul has ever confirmed this figure, it is believed he’s looking for a contract worth about $15 million annually. The two sides may not be arguing over money so much as the length of the deal — the Cavs would likely prefer a shorter contract.

Smith played well for the Cavaliers last season, averaging 12.4 points per game and shooting 40 percent from three. He’s developed into a reliable catch-and-shoot wing who works well off the ball. Cleveland doesn’t have its first title in 52 years without him.

The Cavaliers want him back, but they also want flexibility down the line. More importantly, LeBron James wants him back.

The deal will get done, and Smith will be back with the Cavaliers. However, remember that Rich Paul was Tristan Thompson‘s agent a year ago, and that led to a holdout where Thompson missed most of training camp.