J.R. Smith may be a free agent, but that doesn’t mean he’s going anywhere.
“The Cavs have made him an offer. I hear it’s less than $6.4 million that he turned down. They know Smith is not thrilled with a lesser deal. But right now, he has no leverage, and a one-year contract puts him in position to cash in next summer when the salary cap rises 30 percent.
“Smith may continue to wait. But right now, it seems Cleveland is his only option.”
The bottom line is, Smith needs Cleveland more than the Cavaliers need him. The organization has already brought back Mo Williams to be the primary backup at point guard. If the team does re-sign Smith, it’ll just add depth to an already stacked team.
The 29-year-old was acquired in a midseason trade with the New York Knicks. He seemed to be lifted by the change of scenery as he played an instrumental role in the team’s trip to the NBA Finals.
In 46 games and 45 starts with Cleveland, Smith averaged 12.7 points on 42.5 percent shooting and 39 percent from beyond the arc. When Kyrie Irving went down due to injury during the Eastern Conference playoffs and NBA Finals, the 6’6″ guard saw increased playing time as a viable scoring option.
Smith held a $6.4 million player option for the 2015-16 season, but opted out believing he would receive more money and a longer commitment from an NBA team.
Instead, he remains a free agent with very little interest from around the league. More than likely, Smith will return to Cleveland with a smaller salary.