All the rumors of J.R. Smith opening up talks to other teams was never more than a negotiation tactic — he wanted to play with the Cavaliers, and the Cavaliers wanted him. It was only a question of money and years.
The sides have reached a deal, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
What ended the impasse?
That is an average of $14.25 million per season, and he gets the $15 million guaranteed he wanted for the first three.
This is great on the court for the Cavaliers; Smith has developed into an athletic role player who is a very solid catch-and-shoot guy dangerous from three, plus when focused his is a quality defender. More importantly, and something nobody was saying about Smith a few years back, he is playing with himself and within the system.
This is also going to cost owner Dan Gilbert a lot of money. The Cavaliers were already more than $8 million over the luxury tax line (they could go over the cap/tax like to re-sign Smith because they have his Bird rights), this means in addition to his salary the Cavaliers are going to have to pay a repeater tax on every dollar down the line.
Bobby Marks of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports broke down the numbers.
But when you have a championship team, you write the check.