For the second year in a row, J.R. Smith finds himself waiting for a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. And like last season, there are a lot of precedents to consider.
One is that the Cleveland Cavaliers are already hard-pressed with their team salary budget. There is little space left and main star LeBron James hasn’t even signed on the dotted line. Regardless, James has already verbally informed the Cavs he is returning so the focus shifts to the Cavs swingman.
Is J.R. Smith Worth $15 Million?
Smith is reportedly looking for a $15 million deal. Looking over the salaries of other players holding a similar role, the asking price is not that surprising. Most are getting around $10 million on the average, so a $5 million bump is not unreasonable per Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler.
Yikes… hearing JR Smith seeking huge deal to return to Cavs, in the $15m per year range. Can Cavs really pass on bringing him back?
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) July 17, 2016
Cleveland Cavaliers Will Find A Way To Keep Smith
Cavaliers general manager David Griffin opts to look at it in a positive way. He points out that Smith’s desire to return is good though they have to find ways to make it happen.
“These things sometimes take time and he has representatives that want him to be with us as well so when the time is right something will get done. I’m very confident about that,” said Griffin via Cleveland.com.
NBA analyst Howard Beck somehow seconds the outlook of Griffin, believing Smith has transformed himself dramatically and has close ties with the team and James. The only thing standing in the way is finding a number that will be acceptable to both parties. Aside from that issue, the Cavaliers are touted to retain the veteran shooter
The unlikely teams that can give Smith the money
Assuming the inevitable that Smith wants that $15 million contract, Beck mentions six teams that could possibly hand him that. That list includes the Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Those teams are mostly comprised of young players but Beck does point out that none of them are ‘good fits’ for Smith. Like last year, the waiting game continues for Smith and the Cavaliers.