NBA rumors have one of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ players about to opt out of his contract. J.R. Smith stated he will likely choose to get out of his contract with the Cavaliers, making him a free agent during the upcoming NBA offseason. Slated to make just under $6.4 million for the 2015-16 NBA offseason, Smith told analyst Chris Broussard about his thoughts late Tuesday (June 16).
This could be a risky move for Smith, who was acquired from the New York Knicks during a midseason trade. Seen as a role player, it’s possible that he would have to take a pay cut in free agency. It’s also possible that the Cavaliers could give him another multi-year deal just to make sure LeBron James has talent on the court again. James spoke in favor of Smith a number of times as the Cavaliers were winning games down the stretch, suggesting that the former NBA MVP would welcome Smith back.
During the 2015 NBA Playoffs, Smith played in 18 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He played 31.1 minutes a night, averaging 12.8 points and 4.7 rebounds a game. Smith provided a lot of good shots for the Cavaliers, but there were also times where he went cold on the court. That is something that has plagued him in prior NBA seasons with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks, as well. He will be 30 when the next season begins, so a long-term deal is likely also out of the question.
As previously reported on the Inquisitr, the Cavaliers also have to worry about Kevin Love opting out of his deal in the offseason. Both Love and LeBron James have player options that they could decline in order to gain a more favorable deal in free agency. It’s going to put the team through several stressful weeks as fans debate whether James and Love are going to re-sign with the Cavaliers. There are rumors on both sides of that discussion, but what’s clear is that they would make the most short-term money by staying in Cleveland.
Whether J.R. Smith is going to opt out or not, the Cleveland Cavaliers certainly have a lot of work to do in the offseason. The franchise is at a turning point, where many veteran role players might want to be there to play with LeBron James. The Cavaliers will want to be careful to put together the right group of players when the NBA offseason officially begins. The 2015 NBA Finals showed just how good James can be, but he needs a much better supporting cast to get Cleveland that title.
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