Cleveland Cavaliers fans can breathe a sigh of relief. JR Smith said he hopes to re-sign with the team soon.
The enigmatic scorer is still an unrestricted free agent due to his insistence on a $15 million per year contract. The Cavaliers, who initially scoffed at the proposal, now want to reach a compromise with Smith.
In a recent interview with Complex Sports, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard revealed that his agent is in constant communication with the Cavaliers front office. He explained that money is not his only consideration.
“Well, obviously we’re not where we want to be at from a personal standpoint, but it’s more than just numbers,” said Smith. “I don’t want to feel like I’m taking advantage of the Cavs for everything they’ve done for me, and I don’t want them to feel like I’m taking advantage of them. It’s more of a mutual respect thing.”
Even though Smith is mulling offers from other teams, basketball analysts believe he will eventually re-sign with the Cavaliers. His extended free agency is not unusual, especially since he is handled by the same agent as LeBron James, Tristan Thompson and Eric Bledsoe.
It can be remembered that Thompson re-signed with the Cavaliers just five days before the start of the 2015-16 season. On the other hand, Bledsoe waited until late September 2014 before signing a five-year, $70 million deal with the Phoenix Suns.
A few months ago, Smith declined his $5.3 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent. His primary goal was to secure a lucrative contract extension with the Cavaliers. He felt he deserved the significant raise after he averaged 11.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in the post-season.
“JR Smith by all accounts wants to get close to $15 million a year,” said Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. “Dellavedova just got a deal averaging $9.5 million. His other former teammate Mozgov gets four-year, $64 million and Shumpert is getting $10 million a year.”