The Saga between the Cleveland Cavaliers and J.R. Smith continues as the future between these two has not yet been decided. With only weeks to go before the new season starts, the solution to this problems is nowhere in sight.
Reports close to the team state that the main problem is the annual salary. Namely, Smith requires a salary of $15 million per season, while the Cavaliers are willing to pay „only“ $11 mill.
Another issue that is probably prolonging the future of J.R. Smith with the Cavaliers is the fact that the Cavs have already topped the salary cap, which means that if they sign Smith to a new contract, the would have to pay the Luxury tax for every dollar that exceeds the salary cap limit.
However, while the Cavaliers are negotiating their deal with Smith, many other teams have lined up in hope to acquire Smith. The last team in line are the Boston Celtics, who would be more than happy to sign the 2013 Sixth man of the year, but even the Celtics, would have to get rid of some players in order to make some room for his salary.
The Boston Celtics have signed Gerald Green this summer, who has the same capabilities as Smith. Green was signed in order to provide some minutes coming off the bench as a replacement for Avery Bradley, which means that their expressed interest in acquiring Smith would probably not be the best decision.
Another team that has publicly expressed interest to sign J.R. Smith are the Los Angeles Lakers, who are willing to trade Jordan Clarkson in order to make some space for Smith. Although his reputation is not the best side of his presence, Smith is known as a player that could play equally good on both sides of the court. He can light it up quickly on offense, while on the defensive end his skills are more than welcome. Plus, he would bring in the championship experience to the young Lakers team, who are still waiting for their young star Brandon Ingram to get his NBA groove on.
In the meanwhile, according to the Sports Information Traders website, the Cavaliers have signed Mike Dunleavy, who has similar skills to Smith and can play on both sides of the court, which only indicates that the Cavs are no longer willing to wait for J.R. to make up his mind.
Despite the fact that Smith has finally learned how to control his behavior during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, becoming one of the key players during the last seasons Championship run,as of right now, it seems that his days at the Quicken Loans Arena are counted, and we are more likely to see him playing on a different team next season.
Smith appeared in total of 77 regular season games averaging 30.7 minutes per contest, 12.4 ppg while shooting 40% from the 3-point line. In the playoffs he started in every of the 21 games averaging 34.1 mpg, 11.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg and shooting 43% from the 3-point line.
Words By: Admir Aljic