Cleveland Cavaliers rumors have the team offering J.R. Smith a new contract. These Cavaliers rumors indicate that it is likely for less money than a player option he turned down at the beginning of the NBA offseason. A report from CBS Sports states that his option was worth $6.4 million, but that Smith turned it down to pursue a multi-year deal. While the Cavs extended offers to other players the team hoped to retain, a multi-year deal was not offered to Smith.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, former New York Knicks teammate Iman Shumpert got a four-year, $40 million deal from the Cavs. That might have indicated to J.R. Smith that he was about to get an offer in that range, but it never came. Now the Cavs are way over the salary cap, setting up a pretty expensive luxury tax bill following the 2015-16 NBA season. With very little leverage remaining for Smith, he may be forced to take a big pay cut with the hopes that a strong performance next season gets him a better contract.
While the Cleveland Cavaliers rumors state he has a one-year deal on the table, it’s also possible that Smith’s agent wants him to hold out longer. Any team experiencing an injury in the NBA preseason might turn to someone like Smith, or a team figuring out it doesn’t have enough offense coming off the bench might do the same. Waiting around for a new contract offer comes with huge risks for a player, though, especially if he were to get hurt.
After a trade with the New York Knicks, J.R. Smith started 45 games for the Cavs in the 2014-15 NBA season. He averaged 12.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Smith played most of the postseason coming off the bench, providing 12.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He also was on the court for 31.1 minutes a night, giving the Cavs a lot of valuable time that Smith likely thought was about to be rewarded.
As the NBA preseason draws near, it seems pretty important that the Cavs and Smith come to terms. He provided the team much-needed offense with the second unit last year, and there isn’t exactly a lot of depth to replace that output. There are going to be more Cleveland Cavaliers rumors about this J.R. Smith contract, but a reality is that the Cavs might just have to match the last two-year deal he had in order to keep him happy.
[Image Source: Jason Miller/Getty Images]