NBA: JR Smith Opting Out Of Contract With The Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers are currently on a quest to bring an NBA Championship to their city for the first time since joining the National Basketball Association. The team is putting all of their focus on the Golden State Warriors. With the off season being right around the corner, plenty of players will be declaring their free agency status. According to ESPN, JR Smith has already stated that he will opt out of his current contract with the Cavaliers and become an unrestricted free agent. Smith’s play this season has shown that he will be getting paid this summer.

JR Smith was selected with the 18th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. Throughout his entire career, Smith has been spent most of the time coming off the bench. He played the sixth man role for the teams he has played for. Smith, throughout his career, has averaged 13.2 points, 2.2 assists, and 3.2 rebounds. He won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2013, playing with the New York Knicks. Smith was the first Knicks player to do that since John Starks. Half of his shots have been three pointers.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James

JR Smith has played for four different teams since joining the NBA. He played for the New Orleans Hornets, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, and now the Cleveland Cavaliers. Last season, the Knicks traded Smith along with Iman Shumpert to the Cavaliers.

JR Smith has been a key piece for the Cleveland Cavaliers since joining the team. Smith became a full-time starter since joining the National Basketball Association. He helped lead them into the NBA Finals the past two seasons. Smith averaged 12.4 points and made a career high in three-point shots. He shot 40 percent from beyond the arc. Smith became the starter because of his improved defense. During the NBA Playoffs, he is averaging 11.4 points and shooting 44 percent from the three-point line.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert

JR Smith resigned with the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer. He signed a two-year deal worth $10.3 million. The second year has a player option. Now, he has officially opted out of his current contract to become an unrestricted free agent. The NBA salary cap expected to jump up to $92 million this summer. Instead of making only $5.4 million next season, Smith could be making a starting salary of at least $10 million.

JR Smith has only been known as just a shooter his entire career. This season, Smith has finally shown that he can be a two-way player in the league. For teams to get the best out of Smith, they would need to have a good environment and stability.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson

The Cleveland Cavaliers will have plenty of questions this summer. They will have some key players who will become free agents. LeBron James is among those players. James will likely be commanding a maximum contract. Matthew Dellavedova becomes a restricted free agent this summer. The Cavaliers will have the option to match any offer Dellavedova gets. Richard Jefferson will also become a free agent. He has played a key role for the Cavaliers this year.

One team that could be targeting JR Smith this summer might be the Oklahoma City Thunder. They will be looking to add some scorers to their team to join Russell Westbrook and hopefully Kevin Durant. The Thunder, at times, were lacking in scoring if they weren’t named Westbrook or Durant this year.

JR Smith isn’t a big name free agent, but he is someone who can help a team put up points. When he catches fire, Smith can be one of the best offensive players in the NBA. He has shown flashes of being a two-way player at this stage of his career. Some teams in the National Basketball Association will be willing to pay Smith this summer.

[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]