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.
View this post on Instagram
Happy Bday to my brother @teamswish!! Not a day goes by and I don't think of you kid! Proud of the man you've become over the years. Since day 1 when you were coming to Akron when u were still in HS to work with me I've always believed in you. Quite frankly more than u believed in yourself at times and I've never wavered cause i knew what you were all about. Loyal, caring, driven, misunderstood, passionate, trustworthy, etc etc etc. Most importantly TRUE!! Enjoy your day to the fullest and know i can't wait to get back to work on that court with u as my wing backcourt mate!! Let's go. #Automatic #Worrkkkk #Swisher #RocketLauncher #Champion
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.