The NBA 2016 season is in 20 days and JR Smith is still without a team. And with recent additions to the Cavaliers roster, it seems his spot in Cleveland is slowly fading away.
In July, Smith declined his player option of $5.3 million for one season. Instead, he became a unrestricted free agent and has been in negotiations with the Cleveland Cavaliers since then. Reportedly, the player is asking for $15 million a season, given how much other players are getting every year. Possibly out of pride for the NBA champ and 12-year veteran, Smith wants similar numbers. But with the team’s cap space, their unlikely to give in.
Now, it seems the Cavs have already moved on from the talks and have looked for someone to replace Smith in the Cavaliers roster. Earlier this week, the defending NBA Champions have signed Tony Douglas as backup point guard, a position that Smith could have filled. The move seemingly came as a surprise for Smith, that he had to tweet — well, this:
JR Smith Contract Offer
The former 18th overall pick provided 12.4 point per game at 40% from the three-point line, and adding 2.8 rebounds, 1,7 assists and 1.1 steals last season. According to Forbes, the current offer for the player stands at $42 million for a three-year contract with a partial guarantee in the fourth year. This is still far from the $15 million per year Smith wanted, and so the negotiations drag on.
King Cavalier LeBron James also made his thoughts known on the subject already. Over the weekend, LBJ told reporters that management would hopefully give in to Smith, given that he is a big part of the team’s NBA 2016 Championship.
“Hopefully things get resolved fast, because you know how big and important he is to our team,” James shared, notes ESPN.
“Negotiations are always two-sides, but J.R. did his part. J.R. did his part. He showed up every day. Worked his ass off every day. Became a two-way player, a model citizen in Cleveland and he’s a fan favorite, obviously we all know that.”
James adds that he considers JR as part of the Cavaliers roster even if he’s still unofficially signed.
“So, J.R. is a free agent. He’s not ours. He’s still my brother right now. And I feel like when I play 2K17, he’s still on the Cavs, so he’s on my roster there, but it wouldn’t be good if he was not here. It wouldn’t be good for any side.”
While no updates have been revealed about the JR Smith contract talks, fans are hoping that the guard will again suit up for the Cleveland Cavaliers.