Guys that win an NBA Championship usually want to get paid after the season is over. According to SLAM Online, JR Smith is demanding $15 million per season from the Cleveland Cavaliers. He played a huge part in the team winning their first ever title, and he now wants to be compensated for it.
During the NBA Finals, Matthew Dellavedova was seldom used by Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue. The previous season, he was a very important piece due to the injury to Kyrie Irving. Even with a reduced role, Dellavedova was signed by the Milwaukee Bucks on a four-year contract worth $38 million, as reported by Sports Illustrated.
With Kevin Love healthy and Channing Frye on the roster, Timofey Mozgoz found his role in the NBA Finals severely reduced the second time around. Even then, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Mozgov to a four-year contract worth approximately $64 million.
JR Smith was fully aware of the contracts that were being signed by Matthew Dellavedova and Timofey Mozgov. He also knows that he played a much bigger role than either guy in bringing the first NBA Championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Smith feels justified in believing that he should receive a hefty contract just like Dellavedova and Mozgov received.
Last summer, JR Smith took quite the gamble on himself. The 6-foot-6 guard opted out of a $6.4 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers to test out free agency. When no other franchise wanted him, Smith was forced to sign a two-year deal with the Cavaliers worth approximately $10.3 million.
Not wanting to miss out on the big money again this summer, JR Smith took a gamble on himself again and opted out of his contract. There has been some interest from other teams in the NBA since Smith did well during the playoffs, but most everyone believes that he is yearning to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers because they are such a good fit.
Unfortunately for JR Smith, he does not have a ton of leverage in the situation. While the public wants to see the Cleveland Cavaliers keep the veteran shooting guard around, management knows that they do not have to overbid for Smith because no one else is offering that $15 million salary.
One of the things working in favor of JR Smith is the fact that he has formed quite the bond with LeBron James, who has yet to sign a new contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
If a deal with JR Smith cannot be worked out, the Cleveland Cavaliers might have an in-house option as a replacement. Jordan McRae, a 25-year-old shooting guard, was rather impressive during the NBA Summer League. McRae could potentially replace Smith as the scoring wing in the rotation.
In order to compete for another NBA Championship, though, the best case scenario for JR Smith and the Cleveland Cavaliers is to come to terms on a new contract. They need the distraction to be gone so they can prepare for a potential rematch with the Golden State Warriors.
Kevin Durant shocked the NBA when he decided to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors. That led many to believe that the Warriors are now ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the race for the championship. The Cavaliers are going to need everyone, including JR Smith, to be on board if they want to beat a scoring juggernaut that has never been seen in the National Basketball Association before.
In the end, it would be a bit of a shock to see JR Smith walking away from a situation like the one he has with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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