Last season, The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA title for the first time in their history and J.R Smith was an integral part of that championship success.
The new season starts on the 25th of October and surprisingly, J.R still doesn’t have a contract with the Cavaliers. Both parties have sent all summer haggling over a deal and that looks like it’ll go on a little longer. On Cleveland news website, Cleveland.com, Cavs reporter Joe Vardon says that Smith wants $15 million a year, while Cleveland has offered him $10-11 million per year.
J.R is waiting for the Cavs to come closer to $15 million, and they’re waiting for him to accept the $10-11 million.
Cleveland Cavaliers and J.R. Smith at standoff
When asked about how he felt about J.R Smith’s situation, teammate Lebron James said “Negotiations are always two sides but 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. All of the sudden now he’s a season ticket holder at the Indians games. We just miss him. We miss having him around. He’s a big piece of our team and they just need to get it done.”
J.R Smith is a 12-year NBA veteran and was paid $5 million by the Cavaliers last year but with his impact having been clearly established and the ever rising salary cap that saw Mike Conley sign a five year $153 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, Smith must feel he deserves a significant pay raise.
There is no deadline for free agency in the NBA so this situation could continue into the regular season, though Cleveland fans would want it done sooner.