J.R. Smith chose to hit the open market as a restricted free agent this summer rather than owing his $6.4 million deal for the 2015-16 season. Smith was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers by the New York Knicks last January.
Till now no other team has chased after Smith except the Cavs, who are eager to retain the swingman in their roster. The Cavs management is reluctant to meet the demands of Australian Matthew Dellavedova. So Smith becomes an obvious option for Cleveland. It’s also a fact that LeBron James and his team don’t have options for retaining both players.
There has been a rumor of a five-year $80 million contract with a $6.8 million qualifying offer with a provision of unrestricted free agency after the completion of 2015-16 season.
Cleveland has been one of the most active teams in the league this off-season, as they have re-signed LeBron James, Iman Shumpert and Kevin Love in a bid to retain their roster that featured in the NBA finals last season.
The Cavs without Klay Thompson, Smith and Dellavedova re-signed, and with Brendan Haywood’s contract on hold, are already above the $84.7 luxury tax threshold. They are still looking to trade Haywood.
Now they are eager to sign another point guard, and Smith is the best option available in the current market. Smith, though, is still eying a better deal.
Smith remains unsigned and has maintained a low profile in free agency. If both parties can work out a favorable agreement, a sign and trade is on the cards.