LeBron James has signed and now the focus shifts to JR Smith. James mentioned the 30-year-old veteran as the next one that needs to be signed though Smith seems to be leaving that to his agent.
The $15 Million Question
To recall, Smith was reportedly looking for a $15 million deal, which critics believe was more than fair. A reason for that is the rate was within the range most players can get right now, but the case of the Cleveland Cavaliers right now is a bit different.
Dan Gilbert has been trying to figure out how to avoid overshooting the team budget, something that has already gotten out of hand. Then again, such is the price to pay if the Cavaliers want to maintain a championship squad.
Though nothing has come out in the open, it wouldn’t be surprising to find the Cavaliers trying to negotiate for a slightly lower figure than the celebrated $15 million Smith is asking. And apparently this could be the reason why nothing has developed between the two sides.
Is Smith Frowning?
With the uncertainty surrounding the $15 million wish, Smith may have left the negotiations at the hands of his agent. Much can be felt on Smith’s response to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
“I know you guys are going to ask me about my contract situation,” Smith said. “You’ve got my agent’s number so you all can call him. Rich Paul. You all know what it is. Klutch. You dig?”
Take note that Paul is the same hard-nosed agent that got things done for Tristan Thompson last year. It was a deal that many felt the Cavaliers should have shunned. But somehow Paul pulled it off with the help from LeBron James. Can he do the same for Smith?
Compared to Thompson, there is no question Smith proved his worth. He is a veteran and can hit the buckets when it matters the most. James has also said that Smith should get what he deserves.
A consolation right now is that Smith has not been linked to other teams. It may all be the numbers crunch game right now and much of that is expected to be resolved soon.