NBA Rumors: JR Smith, Philadelphia 76ers Nearing Deal To Trump Cleveland Cavaliers?
Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard JR Smith was not present during the annual media day and is expected to miss some part of training camp. This led to speculation that the Cavaliers might let go of the sharp-shooting guard.Advertisement
Recent reports indicated that the Philadelphia 76ers will take a chance on Smith to bolster their relatively young lineup. Signing Smith will give the 76ers a proven scorer to pair up with promising players like Ben Simmons, Jahlil Okafor, Dario Saric and Nerlens Noel.
Will the JR Smith to Philadelphia 76ers Deal Happen?
The 76ers can afford to sign Smith if they want to because they still have $22 million cap space. This means that they are one of the teams who can give Smith his asking price of $15 million. But will they take the risky move to trump the Cavaliers?
According to NBC Sports, the rumors linking Smith to the 76ers are pure speculation at this point. While they tried to bring a veteran in Manu Ginobili earlier in the offseason, Smith’s case is different.
The report pointed out that Smith is not even talking to other teams. The 31-year-old guard does not want to play elsewhere in the upcoming season, as he is determined to help the Cavaliers defend their title.
Cleveland Cavaliers Give Aggressive Offer
Meanwhile, Cavaliers general manager David Griffin revealed that they recently reached out to Smith and tendered an aggressive offer. It is still unknown how much the Cavs offered. It can be remembered that Cleveland tendered a $10 million yearly salary, but Smith wanted $15 million.
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“As a member of our locker room, he was essential to our success,” Griffin said of Smith via ESPN. “For that reason, we’ve made an incredibly competitive and aggressive offer to re-sign him. We hope that gets done in relatively short order.”
Smith was traded to the Cavaliers halfway through the 2014-15 NBA season. In 77 games last season, the 12-year veteran averaged 12.4 points to go along with 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.